Sunday, October 22, 2006

Those kids these days ...

I recently read the following story on the news wires:
ATTLEBORO, Mass. - Tag, you're out! 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.
OK ... what the fuck?

It was bad enough when schools started banning dodgeball, because they said it allowed the bigger, more athletic kids to not only pick on smaller, weaker children, but also to strike them.

But how much more are we going to coddle our children? Are we going to set the swings so they don't go to high, or the merry-go-round so it doesn't go too fast? Are we going to start making them wear pads and helmets before they can go to recess, or bundle them up in bubble wrap?

You know what the real problem is with kids today? The adults and parents -- most of whom probably got beaned by a few dodgeballs in their day.

Kids today miss out on so much because of new rules and regulations; they miss out on valuable learning experiences, which start teaching them what life is going to be like.

Now we have games in which no score is kept, so that everyone is a winner. Every team gets trophies at the end of the season, even if they never won a game. In some instances, grades aren't given out any more so some kids won't feel dumb. There have even been college students who have sued because they weren't happy with their C's.

Guess what folks. Sometimes, you lose. Sometimes, you're a loser. Sometimes, people, kids included, ARE dumb.

If you never lose as a child, how will you cope with that when you're an adult? If you're not graded on the quality of your work but rather on your effort, or just the fact that you tried, how are you ever going to be a productive member of the work force?

Companies could give a rat's ass if you try hard. They want you to try hard and get it right. Get it wrong enough times, or even once, and you're out of a job.

Life, as we all know -- some of us more than others -- is NOT fair. It's not easy. The world is not fair or fun or easy all the time; in fact, it's none of those things most of the time.

We're raising a generation of children who will be completely unable to cope with living in the real world -- managing a household budget, getting a job and keeping it, learning how to deal with problems and bad surprises, etc.

Now I'm not talking about going back to the days of children working in mines and sweatshops, or of getting smacked with yardsticks in schools. I don't advocate bullying or kids being excessively mean and nasty to those who are different.

But for God's sake ... banning TAG because it's dangerous?

Give me a fucking break.

We've got to let kids be kids ... and to have kid experiences. We have to let them live and learn.


grainne said...

There are so many people who think that by overprotecting children we are doing them a HUGE favor. The idea of a school district banning tag over fears of insurance issues is just horrific. All you hear about now are stories on the news and print about childhood obesity and then they start to ban the only exercise many children get. Makes no sense to me at all. Learning those playground lessons is an important part of childhood.

We had an instance this week in my city where a 17 year old stabbed a 15 year old multiple times after school while waiting for the school buses to pick them up - everyone immediately started to complain that it is all related to VIOLENT video games. I would be more inclined to think that it is poor parenting at home that permitted a 17 year old to bring a knife to school - of course the local sheriff is up in arms as pocket knives with blades less than 3 inches are permitted and that is what the 15 year old was killed with. What ever happened to parents knowing what is going on with kids? Everyone is pointing the finger - school at parents, parents at schools for not having metal detectors everywhere - sheriff at the state for not making little pocket knives illegal - they all want something but no one wants to foot the bill for it all !

When we were kids...we stole camels (not the cigarettes), stole sheep, trespassed on private property to steal fruit from trees....we went hunting with our fathers, learned about life and death by hunting for food to put on the table....we often got hurt doing things that kids did and no one ever thought about sueing the school over a broken bone or other injury from recess or PE....we are becoming a society of grossly greedy people who think lawsuits are the quick way to make's a shame that it's the kids who are going to suffer for it.

ECK--a rant on a Saturday morning...~L~ Sorry hon!

Happy Sweetest Day !! ~smooches and hugs~

terry said...

amen, dzer....

The Savage said...

I agree, dear brother mine...

Kristen said...

*raises beer bottle*

*cheers Dz*

Speaking as a mom of two boys.....I couldn't agree with you more

This was awesome.

Now, you wanna play tag?

Chrissie said...

Sounds like some people need to listen to Dory!

Marlin: "I promised I'd never let anything happen to him."
Dory: "Hmm. That's a funny thing to promise."
Marlin: "What?"
Dory: "Well you can't never let anything happen to him. Then nothing would ever happen to him. Not much fun for little Harpo."

Madame X said...

Dzer I agree with you to a point.
Where I disagree is I don't feel the reason for banning games where children may get hurt is a result of coddling children.
I think it's a result of irresponible and $ hungry people just looking for another way to blame someone one else then get money from them.

ArtfulDodger said...

I agree, and I think it is a combination of two things, 1) overprotecting children, and everyone honestly, and 2) an overly litigious society in which anything that happens is subject to a lawsuit! GRRR!

RobynB said...


Its hard to watch my girls fall down and skin their knees, but how else will they learn to get back up and try again?