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.
Sunday Update - Week 33
9 hours ago