You’re Not It

The headline of the Associated Press article reads: “Mass. School Bans Playing Tag Over Fears of Injuries and Lawsuits.” The Willett Elementary School, located in a town “south of Boston,” has banned all unsupervised “chase games”–tag, touch football, etc.–during recess.

I’m speechless.

Source: Associated Press, Mass. School Bans Playing Tag Over Fears of Injuries and Lawsuits, Oct-19-06 Reported on Law.com http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1161162316787

MORE: On October 21 The Boston Globe followed up this story with an article titled “Schools ruling out fun on playground, critics say.” It reports on school rules against hanging upside down by one’s knees on the high bar, jumping off the slide, etc.

4 thoughts on “You’re Not It”

  1. I understand the fear some schools have about the extent of their liability regarding recess-related injuries of their students, but this ban is truly unfortunate. Like the article said, playing tag is part of being a kid. Schoolchildren need exercise and social contact with students to stay in shape and interact with others. Kids can get hurt doing virtually anything; they could trip over a desk in a classroom and break their arm – should we now ban walking to the teacher’s desk? Hanging upside down on monkey bars and jumping off the slide are things that are potentially dangerous and are against the rules at most schools, but running around in an enclosed area is not at par with those activities in my eyes.

  2. Prohibiting “chase games” to reassure the fears school have of injuries and lawsuits resulting from such games is pointless and unfair. Already, it is impossible for supervisors to prevent every potential danger in the wild and rough world of big toys, jungle gyms, and soccer fields. The infrastructure of a playground possesses inherent danger for all children. Monkey bars, slides, and platforms at considerably high heights all pose a threat to children’s safety. Will such absurd bans be imposed on every possible outlet to danger? If so, kids might as well say goodbye to that fortress of shared imaginations and say hello to the mundane routine of hopscotch and jumprope. If schools wanted to prevent injuries in the game of tag, perhaps they should teach children how to play nicely instead of depriving them of an important recess event.

  3. Although, the fear of lawsuits within the school systems is understandable, as it can be very costly, I believe that this article shows how the avoidance of lawsuits is going too far. Tag and Dodgeball are activities that nearly every child in the U.S. has played and how often does one hear of a serious injury occuring? If schools ban all the activities that could potentially harm the students then it will only be encouraging young kids to do less physical activity. Schools should be looking for ways to get kids involved in activities that keep them healthy and if simple games such as these are being banned what activities are left? For the sake of the young students, take the risk and let them have a little fun.

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