But before Gold Ridge sends ‘em to the slammer they’ll brandish these barbs:
“If a student breaks the rule, they’ll receive a warning, then a referral and then a parent-teacher conference...”
Firstly, everybody understands a warning. Secondly, if a referral means snitching – well, is it ok to ask - - - just why do kids get tattletaled on – when illegal aliens in the state of California do not? Lastly, isn’t it a bit over the top to hold a conference just because one kid tried to tag another in the school yard? A conference? Why not go whole hog and hold a summit?
Can’t the school see the benefits of tag? It’s been around for ages, requires no equipment, keeps the kids active, and is usually a lot of fun.
In the USA there has been at least one death from playing tag. Back in 2008 a 10-year old boy in Nebraska died when a small piece of metal impaled in his skull. But as tragic as that was for the kid, his family, and friends he was playing with – one death out of a zillion instances of participating in “you’re it!” sounds like a pretty good safety-to-fatality ratio, especially if, as has been opined, one Alfred J. Tag, an Oxford University professor in 1913 created the game...That’s a lot of non-deaths for a sport now considered ban worthy.
Gold Ridge is but one educational institution. But stupidity did not originate, when it comes to tag, there. Consider the case of the US National Association for Sport and Physical Education which declares that, among other features, tag must incorporate “cooperation” into its realm.
So, one sentient in matters and manners of tag, might presume, if cooperation is essential, that those being chased by the person who is tagged, must immediately go along to get along - cooperate - and sit down or stand still – so they can immediately be touched and thereby tagged. Perhaps a sitting circle, where the person next to you, tags you, working clockwise or counterclockwise, would work best for such an idiotic idea.
Gold Ridge has a district spokesperson, Daniel Thigpen. He revealed the true dumb rationale behind banning tag. Paraphrasing his words:“specific behaviour problems need specific solutions.”
BUT, Daniel, a GENERAL, ACROSS-THE-BOARD nullification of a kiddie activity is not specific solution, duh.
In fairness to sub-national entity, California, and civic-municipal entity, Folsom, they’re not the first political clusters to ham-handidly and haphazardly rule out kids having fun. In Toronto Ontario, a few years back, the Earl Beatty public school totally banned balls. Parents with some balls of their own vehemently protested this asinine act and the school sheepishly brought back balls of the nerf, tennis, and basketball varieties.
But let’s, for a moment, tag and slag - you’re it – on Principal David Frankel - for his welcoming message that (click the link above, or take this writer’s word for it) showed a surfeit of euphemisms, and a pomposity of verbosity.
He also, perhaps unknowingly – let’s not kick the can with this fellow completely - revealed just how rank and low standards go for teaching standards at Gold Ridge Elementary when he said: “Gold Ridge is fortunate to have an experienced, dedicated, and professional staff.”
Note to David; it should not be “fortunate” to have these qualities with your staff, it should be de rigueur.
Back to bans. Some bans – or very strict supervision – on child activities - make sense. For example, trampolines yield a far greater ratio of spine and head injuries to youngsters than do playing sports like soccer. (And apparently 60% of injuries occur while landing ON, not off, the trampoline. So even strict spotter supervision is inadequate...)
But other bans, such as Weber Middle School of NY State banning cartwheels, unless a coach watches over the budding gymnast, make no sense. (And note - this is a middle school, not an elementary one.)
In other jurisdictions kids’ antics such as red Rover have been kyboshed and even the rather sedentary, but oh so fun and, yes, somewhat competitive, Musical Chairs – has come under scrutiny for lack of inclusiveness.
Life has risks. Part of growing up is in taking risks. Yes, kids get hurt, break bones, suffer sprains, even worse sometimes. But to ban for all, an activity because a few get hurt, is ludicrous.
Perhaps, though, some of these schools aren’t interested in so much as putting a protective wrap around their young because of safety concerns as they are but, instead, coddling them in safe-zones to protect their schools from lawsuits from hellish-helicopter parents of Johnny or Susie when they invariably demand a pound of fiscal flesh because their kid fell off the swing or slide - or whatever. If so, that’s unfortunate.
But, generally speaking, for a school, principal, or teacher, to be liable for a law suit – they must have shown negligence. And, generally speaking, for the parents of a child who injured another child to be eligible, to be sued successfully, it must be proved that their kid willfully and maliciously intended to hurt the victim.
Hey! But let’s leave the law and lawyering for another day, save for this thought: if ONE SPECIFIC lawyer action – behavior - causes needless pain and nonsensical injury, let’s ban ALL lawyers...
Let's tag them.