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 around 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, Wyoming, and Spokane, Washington, also recently banned tag during recess. A suburban Charleston, South Carolina, school outlawed all unsupervised contact sports.
“I think that it’s unfortunate that kids’ lives are micromanaged and there are social skills they’ll never develop on their own,” said Debbie Laferriere, who has two children at Willett, about 40 miles south of Boston. “Playing tag is just part of being a kid.”
Another Willett parent, Celeste D’Elia, said her son feels safer because of the rule. “I’ve witnessed enough near collisions,” she said.
Oh No!!! Not near collisions! that is terrible! What would we do with out these people carefully watching the kids run around the playground.
In the principal’s office:
“I brought this child in.”
“What did he do?”
“I caught him running around playing tag.”
“Is this true Jimmy?”
“Thats IT! Detention for all the 5th graders! Get out of my office, scum!”