"If we don’t stand up for children, then we don’t stand for much.”
(Quote by Marian Wright Edelman)
Tag, you’re out!
Schools try to discourage the game, but it endures — for good reason.
By Janet Cromley, Times Staff Writer
November 6, 2006
You’re it! You’re it! AS school administrators wrestle with the deeply controversial issues of educating America’s youth — evolution versus creationism, metal detectors on campus, standardized testing — one topic has really put them in the public hot seat: the schoolyard game of tag. The issue made national headlines recently when Willett Elementary School in Attleboro, Mass., officially banned the venerable skinner of knees, inspiring considerable derision in editorials and online discussion boards. (Schools in South Carolina, Wyoming and Washington have instituted similar bans.)The topic is so no-win that school officials, admittedly busy with loftier issues, are reluctant to discuss it.But the reality is that schools across the United States have been quietly discouraging tag for years….
Pro kid vs responsibility battle wages on. Kids fall! Let them fall! How else will they learn to stand up and brush themselves off? HOWEVER… on school grounds– every kid becomes a liability, and in a sue-crazy, bubble-wrap-every-kid America, when is too far too far? Too much, too much?
Kids also have to learn safety & such on their own terms. They have to learn their OWN limits. Just try telling a kid his own limit. It’s like trying to tell a 21 year old NOT to drink on their 21st birthday. Yah, good luck.
Kids get wrapped up in their own ball of energy. If they don’t let that energy out, I truly believe a little piece of their innocence, their youth… their freedom will die. Kids are in learning phase, they can’t learn EVERYTHING by lecture. If you play too hard, you can fall and get hurt. Try telling that to a kid and have them understand. They won’t. If anything they’ll look at you like your BONKERS, or it will pass seamlessly in one ear and right out the other.
Watch the kids. Let them play. Settle them down when its too much. Ask them. Warn them. Give them a chance to catch themselves. Maybe join in on the fun and EXEMPLIFY the type of play you would like to see…. Stop them when they’re close to a road or danger– that’s when others can hurt. Just be a human, not a dictator, and ask yourself… what did I do as a kid? Do I remember this? Did I love it? Then ask yourself– from a kid’s perspective– if its work it to take it away.