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It’s Official. We’re a Nation of Nancies

October 18, 2006

I have to confess, there are times when I almost wish for a famine, or the outbreak of avian flu, or invasion by some foreign army.  Not because it would be fun, but because maybe, just maybe, it would set our collective priorities straight.  At least for a little while.  Because this constant campaign to eradicate every possible trivial threat to our survival and well-being is turning us into a bunch of wusses.

Allow me to present before the court Exhibit A:

Officials at an elementary school south of Boston have banned kids from playing tag, touch football, and any other unsupervised chase game during recess for fear they’ll get hurt and hold the school liable.

Recess is "a time when accidents can happen," said Willett Elementary School Principal Gaylene Heppe, who approved the ban.

While there is no districtwide ban on contact sports during recess, local rules have been cropping up.  Several school administrators in Attleboro, a city of about 45,000 residents, took aim at dodgeball a few years ago, saying it was exclusionary and dangerous.

Elementary schools in Cheyenne, WO and Spokane, WA, also recently banned tag during recess.  A suburuban Chaleston, SC school outlawed all unsupervised contact sports.

Tag?  How can you ban tag?  How can you watch kids running around playing it and think "this is really dangerous and I must put a stop to it at all costs"?

Back in the halycon days of my youth, when I partook of recess, my friends and I not only played tag and touch football, we also walked along balance beams, slid down slides and *gasp* jumped off of swings.  There were a few scrapes and bruises, naturally, but to my knowledge no one was ever seriouly injured, much less killed.  Though today, I suppose, we would be expelled and shipped off to a mental institution for suicidal tendencies.

This is stupid.  No, it is beyond stupid.  It is stupid to a level of hyperbolic exaggeration that cannot adequately be expressed by the English language.  We bitch and moan about obesity, and about how kids just plop themselves down in front of the xBox, and how they never get any exercise.  But then we bitch and moan about how dangerous recess is, and how it is "a time when accidents can happen".  Well, this here is cake, Principal Heppe, and you can’t have it and eat it, too.

Me, I’d rather risk a few scrapes, bruises, and bloody noses and let kids have fun while they can.  It’s TAG, for crying out loud, not the storming of Utah Beach!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Tim permalink
    October 18, 2006 7:32 pm

    Does this mean playing in the street and throwing iceballs at cars is out too?

  2. October 26, 2006 11:52 pm

    Principal Herpes needs to take a chill pill. If they can’t play tag legally, they may have to go the gang route….

    tag teaches determination too. if you’re friggin exhausted, but you’re it, the only way to take a breather is to run somebody down…exert your energy to do it…what the heck is wrong with that?

  3. October 31, 2006 3:14 am

    i see all of the protective gear kids are forced to wear whent hey ride bikes the same way. we used to build ramps and put them on top of hills. now kids look like football players just to ride down the street.

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