School District to Ban Kids From Playing ‘Tag’ During Recess [Update]
[Update] The Mercer Island School District has decided to reinstate Tag following public outcry.
[Original Story] The Mercer Island School District in Washington apparently thinks it's best for the children's physical and emotional safety if the game of Tag is banned.
The report from Fox 13 says even parents were caught off-guard from the decision and many vehemently disagree with it.
Mercer Island School District communications director Mary Grady explained the district’s decision via email:
“The Mercer Island School District and school teams have recently revisited expectations for student behavior to address student safety. This means while at play, especially during recess and unstructured time, students are expected to keep their hands to themselves. The rationale behind this is to ensure the physical and emotional safety of all students.
School staffs are working with students in the classroom to ensure that there are many alternative games available at recess and during unsupervised play, so that our kids can still have fun, be with their friends, move their bodies and give their brains a break.”
But parents think kids need some unstructured playtime. They also want to know why they weren't part of the decision-making process.
My question is: how do you literally stop kids from playing tag? It's one of the first games you play when you're little. It's a natural -- even baby animals play Tag in a similar fashion.
I also wonder where this school district got their information from. How do they know that playing Tag will emotionally scar kids? I think these educators are taking too many liberties without really knowing the long-term consequences.