Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Thursday, August 30, 2007

New in the WTF file

Flipping through the channels just now, I scanned past the end of a story about how a school had banned, of all things, TAG (the game, not the trademarked cologne). Not really believing my ears I checked online, and sure enough, a school in Colorado Springs just banned the game. And as if that wasn't bad enough, when I googled the thing, it came up with 2,160,000 hits. On the first page alone, without clicking through any links, I saw schools in California and Maryland had done the same thing.

Apparently tag has become too scary and threatening.


Apparently kids were complaining they were being harassed. I can buy that, I guess. If a kid doesn't want to play tag, and the other kids won't leave them alone, then guess what? IT'S NOT TAG! It's an excuse for rotten snots to put their hands where they don't belong - on other kids.

If a group of kids wants to chase each other around on the playground, screaming and laughing and... ummm... exercising! then let them. And teach children to respect each other's rights to not play, to respect each other's privacy, space, belongings, bodies, minds, ideas...

I'm ranting, I know. It just pisses me off. I used to play tag with my friends, and we loved it. We had a lot of fun doing it. If someone didn't want to play, we didn't make them. And if someone who was playing got mean, we kicked them out or we stopped playing and did something else. (It's not like the playground attendents were in any way attentive even then.) But we also knew better than to mess with other kids. Because it was WRONG.

Where is the breakdown in communication here?

Last year my nephew got mugged. Several older boys beat the hell out of him and stole his bike. The ones they caught got a stint in juvey, and my nephew got his bike back. Last week my nephew and his best friend were out riding bikes. Nephew was riding his friend's bike and vice versa. They were jumped and the group of older boys beat the hell out of my nephew's friend, and guess what? They stole my nephew's bike again. The ones who got caught got... Wait for it...

Suspended for a week. They beat up a little kid, stole property and got a week's vacation for it.

Last year my husband's nephew got the crap kicked out of him on the bus. The culprits were a few older kids. The driver did nothing, and the other kid's sat and laughed. The guilty got...

Suspended. My BIL called the cops to press charges and they did nothing.

"Kids will be kids."

And the answer some of the schools pose? Ban tag. Ban dodgeball. Hold touchy-feely assemblies where all the kids can cry together, and feel more in touch with their emotions. (Which lasts until the next day when they go right back to the same ol' same ol'.)

Is it any wonder I pulled my kid out of school? Partly because the older she gets, the higher the probability that fists will turn into weapons, homeschooling - among it's many other benefits - is SAFE. She was suspended (in-school) at least twice for fighting. Not because she started it, but because after the kid hurt her, she defended herself. Apparently that's not allowed. They both were fighting, they both get suspended. Ummm.... Yeah. I got called in to the principal's office, and they told me why my daughter was suspended. I told the chick-in-charge that my daughter was doing EXACTLY what I told her to do, and she would continue to defend herself as long as she was never the instigator. This mama ain't raisin' no punchin' bag.


So, if any of the tag banners are reading this, please look a little deeper for the cause of the problems, because once you fix the real disease instead of the symptoms, tag won't be a problem any more.

Seriously... Hmphf!!


Kristin B said...

Wow! Good on ya for raising a daughter who won't be anyone's doormat, and won't just sit there and take it. We need more women being raised to defend themselves when necessary, instead of just keeping quiet and "ladylike".

As you can tell, this is a touchy subject for me, so I won't go on too much. Except to say that we're taking far too much from our kids. Halloween costumes, tag...what's next, hide-n-seek? Red Rover?

Grrr. And I don't even have kids.

Wendy Roberts said...

I feel like I've been living under a rock ... or maybe it's just 'cause I'm in Canada LOL. Seriously, banning tag is just WRONG!

Alex Adams said...

WTF?? Yes, lets breed a namby-pamby bunch of little fat wussies who never have any of the fun kids are supposed to have.

*humph* Idiots.

Kristen Painter said...

Awesome post, couldn't agree with you more. What's wrong with this country is the lack of consequences.

Banning tag and dodgeball isn't the answer - it's not even a bandaid on the problem! Go back to teaching kids the difference between right and wrong and show them the consequences of their actions and then things will change.

I'm so glad I don't have kids. I don't know how concerned parents today don't rip their hair out over the nonsense.

Shannon said...

That's crazy! But, I'm really not surprised. Reading through your experience, I can add my own. My daughter got hit in the face at a school football game by a former "boyfriend". We called both the police and talked to the school the next day. The police just gave him a warning and the school said that if they suspended him, they would have to suspend her, too because his friend said she hit him back. Unfortunately, she didn't and there were ten people that saw it and said she didn't. So, next time I told her to hit back. If no one else is going to protect these kids, they'll have to protect themselves.

Travis Erwin said...

This is the first I've heard of tag being banned but I have heard about Red Rover being too violent.

I agree crazy.

But as a former fat kid I gotta say duck duck goose is inherently unfair for thsoe who have a hard time getting off the ground, but it is a good way to lsoe weight since every one chooses you as the goose.

Now a bit extra girth was a good thing in Red Rover.