Normally, I try to just stick to writing satire. I saw this story online and couldn't make anything up after reading it, other than my own reaction. The story vexed me so much it stifled my creativity, so here's what came of it.
I recently ran across an article with the headline Elementary school outlaws playing tag, 'running in packs'
The gist of the story was that some kindergarten teachers in Michigan have banned chase-oriented games such as "tag" because of the potential for injury.
What's next? Kids won't be able to play "Heads up/Seven up" because of the risk of children getting cramps in their thumbs? Are we going to ban "Patty Cakes" in pre-schools because wrists might be sprained? While we're at it, we better not have kids sing in music class because of the strain on vocal chords, not to mention the spread of germs!
God forbid we catch a kid playing "Hopscotch" on a sidewalk or concrete area of the schoolyard. You know, the child might sprain an ankle or fall flat on their face because we can't trust an elementary school aged kid to put his or her hands out in front of themselves to break a fall, or even better yet, shift their own weight, which is going to increase by the way, due to the continued removal of physical activity in which they are allowed to participate, to save themselves from altogether falling.
I understand protecting our kids from the ills of society such as sexual perpetration, illegal substances, bullying, kidnaping etc.
But taking away simple classic childhood games such as "TAG" because of the inherent risk? What is our society coming to? Has this nation and our culture become so accustomed to lawsuits, litigation, civil suits and the like that schools are now in fear of letting kids be kids? Are schools so fearful that if a child gets injured on their watch that there will be consequences to pay, so much, that they brazenly ban childhood?
That is a SAD state of affairs my friends.
As I recall, half the fun of being a child was falling, getting back up, and trying again. The physical lessons one learns early in life often become a great metaphor for how one might conduct themselves later in life when he or she faces defeat, disappointment, or deflation. Fall down. Get up. Try Again! But with this kind of Malarkey, I believe we are robbing children of their childhood, little by little. We are robbing them of valuable lessons.
What do you think? TAG YOU'RE IT!