A Long Island middle school has banned “footballs, baseballs, lacrosse balls, or anything that might hurt someone on school grounds” during recess, and of course the issue is pedantically being painted in black and white, where the sides are lining up, diametrically opposed, and making their myopic, stultifying cases.
Some argue it’s a further deterioration to our country’s toughness and use kids roughhousing in India and China to scare us, while others see it as a needed step towards a safer and more constructive learning environment, or simply something we need to do to catch up academically to other nations. (Wait, they are smarter AND get rough recess?) I believe it has a bit to do with both of those things, as well as a number of other issues, but in no way do I think this was a simple decision, or one that can be derided as “sissification” without further serious investigation.
To those that think it’s just a move to soften up the kids of today, and who remember rough games of tackle football on concrete surfaces, your glory days are gone. There used to be a time when kids got hurt and it was okay, as it was just part of growing up. Nowadays, when kids get hurt, lawsuits fly hot and heavy (example 2, example 3, example 4, example 5, example 6, example 7, example 8, I could go on and on). So how is this move really the least bit surprising? Add in the fact that school districts are constantly being asked to tighten their belts, and the ability to deal with lawsuit happy parents disappears completely.
Some of the above cases seem pretty legitimate. Some don’t. I’ll let you make up your mind which is which, but keep in mind the one true thing about all these cases… they are all REAL, and they impact school districts.
The answer to the above scenario is for the school to LITERALLY take its rubber ball and go home, and replace it with a foam Nerf ball. At this time, there is no other recourse.
It’s easy to sit back and blast schools, or boards, or districts as cowards and bureaucrats who are intent in killing off any type of fun or competition. It’s also easy to sit back and say that this move makes things safer for kids or for schools, so it’s all good. It takes a little more nuance to look at the situation and see what part you play in it, and how you could help make things better.
Want your schools to keep recess, and staff it responsibly? Want your kids to be able to play sports, and play a little rough sometimes? Want some of that freedom to live life the way you want? Well, the first step is supporting your local schools with your time, your money, and your votes. Fund the schools and they can take care of your kids AND educate them. Defund the schools and you can cut out art, gym, recess, qualified teachers, and updated books… AND you can keep complaining about how the world is going soft, without ever looking at the bigger picture, or how you play a part in it.
Talk about living in a bubble…
Editor’s Note: It’s almost funny to see the exact same article show up on CBS, Breitbart, and LPG. Copy and paste for the win, right? Why not just share the original CBS story from its original source? This is why you get the unbalanced news you get these days. It’s all regurgitated fluff with snazzy headlines.