Middle School Bans Tag, Cartwheels, Footballs, and More For Students' Safety

Credit: Daniele-Zanni-foter-cc-by-nc-saCredit: Daniele-Zanni-foter-cc-by-nc-saA middle school in Long Island, New York has banned the playing of typical schoolyard games and the use of many pieces of athletic equipment during recess.

CBS reported that Weber Middle School this week “instituted a ban on footballs, baseballs, lacrosse balls, or anything that might hurt someone on school grounds.” The ban also includes “hard soccer balls” and “rough games of tag, or cartwheels unless supervised by a coach.”

Assistant Principal Matthew Swinson explained that "sometimes when they participate in tag they use the opportunity to give an extra push.”

In a press release, the school district stated that “structured athletics” with footballs and baseballs do not pose the risk of “an errant throw injuring a child.” However, “unstructured play with hardballs" is dangerous and therefore impermissible. Their announcement explains that the children are confined by ongoing construction at the school, and therefore cannot be trusted with certain sports equipment. Nevertheless, the school made a specific exception for the spongy foam of Nerf balls, so that the children can safely “enjoy a 20 minute recess period.”

"We know kids are going to get injured ... but we have a responsibility to lessen injuries," said Swinson, explaining that the children could only be trusted with spongy balls.

CBS spoke to several students and parents who believe the case for safety is being overstated:

“Cartwheels and tag — I think it’s ridiculous they are banning that,” one said.

“You go for recess — that’s your free time to go let loose and recharge,” another said.

“That’s all we want to do,” a third student said. “We’re in school all day sitting behind the desk learning.”

[…]

“Children’s safety is paramount, but at the same time, you have to let them live life,” said Port Washington parent Ellen Cohen.

Among the reported blemishes are “head injuries, bumps, [and] scrapes.” However, Superintendent Kathleen Maloney believes that “some of these injuries can unintentionally become very serious,” and found a ban to be the only acceptable way of curtailing the violence at Weber Middle School. 

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  • kinnath||

    Pain is integral to learning. It is unfortunate that we do not always survive our most profound learning experiences.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    So you went to Catholic school.

  • Zombie Jimbo||

    The Penguin was tough, but unfair.

  • Russell||

  • kinnath||

    for one year. but it was enough ;-)

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    "We know kids are going to get injured ... but we have a responsibility to lessen injuries," said Swinson, explaining that the children could only be trusted with spongy balls.

    This is just common sense ball-control. No kid needs a real baseball, softball, or football.

    Let's keep hard balls of games where they belong: in the hands of professional athletes, not among untrained children.

  • WTF||

    The pussification of America continues apace.

  • Banjos||

  • Brett L||

    Nice.

  • Kaptious Kristen||

    THey pussified NASCAR to the point of making it unwatchable years ago....can the NFL be far behind?

  • ||

    Congratulations on the continued wussification of the children of the Northeast.

  • JW||

    It makes sense, being the closest to the UK.

    We may have won the wars, but they'll have the last larf.

  • fish||

    Finally a decision that really is....for the children!

  • waffles||

    Nerfed children.

  • kinnath||

    If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball!!

  • ||

    If you send your kid to public school, you deserve what you get.

  • Tman||

    I am really interested to see how the Generation Y and beyond public school students work out in the real world once they finally get out of college. The public school system has indeed done a terrible job of preparing them for just about anything, as this news demonstrates.

    The problem is I keep reading more and more about how the real world is delayed for these generations thanks to things like the ACA where the kids get insurance till they are 26, or the ridiculous federal student loan programs that allow kids to pretend to be a student well in to their 30's.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I am really interested to see how the Generation Y and beyond public school students work out in the real world once they finally get out of college.

    I think "Barack Obama" is enough of an example.

  • Rasilio||

    Yeah the problem is he is somewhere on the border between being a Boomer and a Gen X'er

  • Lysander Spooner||

    Hey! That's not funny. I'm perfectly happy labeling him as a Boomer. Keep him out of my Gen X class!

  • Rasilio||

    As a fellow Gen X'er I fully agree, He's a Boomer

  • GamerFromJump||

    He was the last "fuck you" of the Boomers to everyone else, the apotheosis of such from a generation known for it.

  • Zeb||

    I think they'll figure it out. Everyone has always thought that the next generation was hopeless and doomed.

  • Brett L||

    Other generations didn't have their parents actively working towards their doom.

  • Zeb||

    Not all of them. I don't think. I guess we will find out. I don't have kids and it seems fairly likely that I won't, so I guess I can afford to be more optimistic. Shit is too depressing otherwise.

  • cryptarchy||

    I'm somewhere between late Gen X, early Gen Y and both of my parents are dead. I don't have to worry about them actively working toards my demise

  • Invisible Finger||

    It takes a village to work towards your demise anyway.

  • Rob||

    Hey, I'm a 30-something student, but I'm paying cash for my classes. I had to specifically refuse to use government loans to pay for my classes. The university automatically applied student loans against my tuition.

  • larry hammond||

    This.

  • Andrew S.||

    So, riddle me this:

    Homeschooling, as much as I'd like to, is impossible for my wife and I due to work.

    Private school would cost more per month than my mortgage.

    So, what am I supposed to do? I'm trying to get into the charter school system, but that's on a lottery.

  • ||

    Get your parents or another relative to homeschool your kid while you work. Find some likeminded parents and see if you can assemble a "homeschooling group" that teaches the kids while you work. Make more money.

    This is your kid's education. Think outside the box.

  • BuSab Agent||

    Well my kids have it easy, it's already a given that I'm homeschooling all the grandkids. As a plus, I already have all the books.

  • JD the elder||

    "Get your parents or another relative to homeschool your kid while you work"

    I could be wrong, but my impression is that that's even tougher, legally, than homeschooling. Once you're teaching somebody else's kids, you're into "private school" territory.

  • fish||

    Do it anyway....be prepared to lie!

  • ||

    This. Also "live in a state with less homeschooling regulation."

    Michigan, Texas, Oklahoma, Illinois, Alaska, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Idaho, New Jersey and Connecticut don't even require you to notify the state that you are homseschooling.

  • JW||

    I turn off the TV and hit my kids. Isn't that enough?

  • ||

    Nice.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    The B.B. Rodriguez School of Teaching.

  • JW||

    This is your kid's education. Think outside the box.

    My cousin, who is all earth-mother, all rah-rah positive things for all kids, and a natural childbirth doula, tried homeschooling her kids last year.

    She only made it 3 months before giving up.

  • ||

    Why did she give up?

  • JW||

    I suspect it had more to do with her kids than anything else. Apple, tree, falling.

    My only point was that if anyone should have been able to make this work, she should have, so it's not always a slam dunk.

    I know I don't have the patience and resources to be a teacher for my kids, in the literal sense. I just make sure to give them bad ideas, bad habits and to question all authority OTHER THAN ME.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm in the same boat. For private schools I've got a choice between an unaccredited Baptist cult or a prep school where the tuition is roughly equal to my salary. Neither of us can afford to quit our jobs. Lucky for us though, the local public school was actually a private school a couple decades ago, and while it was consumed by the Borg, it still managed to keep some of its individuality. Meaning it's about as good as a public school can get.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Go for the Cult - though the deprogramming costs may outweigh the savings.

  • sarcasmic||

    Did you miss the unaccredited part? That means that the curriculum is so bad, not even the government will approve it.

  • Homple||

    I'm not sure that "government approved" guarantees a "non-bad" curriculum. Home schoolers want to get their kids out of schools with government approved curricula. I'd be very leery of a hyper religious school, however.

  • kinnath||

    You could move to Iowa. The schools have declined from good to mediocre. But they are still great compared to most metropolitan areas.

  • GamerFromJump||

    Is moving to Hong Kong an option? They actually have rigorous, private, non-cult schools.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Move to a smaller house and live cheaper.

  • JW||

    You've never lived in DC, have you?

    Yeah, yeah, move to another city.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I would figure you'd move out of DC just for your own sanity.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Go to the PTA meetings with a bunch of like-minded parents and raise holy hell?

  • Tonio||

    Given the totality of circs (lol), especially the character and history of the school, I would say that's the best option based on the info he gave. Realize I'm not as doctrinaire as many here.

    Also, most definitely involve yourself with the PTA and monitor the school as closely as possible (unannounced visits, if allowed). Have as a long-term goal taking the school charter if that's an option in your district.

  • BuSab Agent||

    I keep hearing people say home schooling is impossible due to both parents working. My question is: do both of you work full time to keep yourself in a trailer in a bad section of town with a really old car and hyper strict budget control? If not, then you CAN live off one salary to free up the other for homeschooling. But I can totally see not wanting to take the lifestyle ding for the sake of your children's education and mental well being.

  • Banjos||

    ^This

    Dump a car, find a smaller home, take in a couple of kids for daycare. You can make it happen if you are willing to sacrifice.

  • Tonio||

    Also, trailer or double-wide on your own nicely maintained patch of land on the outskirts of town is not the worst option.

  • BuSab Agent||

    We raised 5 kids in a double-wide in unincorporated land.

  • sarcasmic||

    Also, trailer or double-wide on your own nicely maintained patch of land on the outskirts of town is not the worst option.

    This man must have a basement or a garage. No negotiating on that one.

  • BuSab Agent||

    I had a shed...

  • Tonio||

    My proposal doesn't preclude a shed. Plus, shed is cheaper than garage or basement...

  • Tonio||

    And by "shed" I mean big ass outbuildings.

  • sarcasmic||

    Plus, shed is cheaper than garage or basement...

    And a lot colder when it's zero and snowing.

  • entropy||

    Homeschool anyway.

    Honestly, it probably depends on the kid, but most of them do not need 8 hours a day 5 days a week for 12 years to get the equivalent of a high school degree in education. That takes a smart kid a year or two. You can probably teach them on weekends.

  • Rasilio||

    The problem is not the homeschooling, the problem is what the hell do you do with the kids while you are at work 8 hours a day.

    You can't take them with you, daycare centers won't take them and a full time "nanny" is going to cost you around 25,000 a year and more if you do it above the table and pay Social Security taxes.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Make em get a job to pay for their education.

    Problem solved!

  • Tonio||

    [tears up]

    Thank you, Francis, thank you.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    My pleasure.

  • entropy||

    Honestly I think that's the healthy normal part. What will they do all day? Learn to take care of themselves with free time, so they don't have to learn it all in their 20's.

  • Rasilio||

    Yeah that works will with a 15 year old.

    Try it with a 7 year old and you will find yourself in jail for child endangerment right quick

  • Loki||

    You could go ahead and send them to public school as a glorified form of daycare (you're paying for it anyway with taxes) and then deprogram/ actually educate them yourself on the weekends.

  • sarcasmic||

    That's what I anticipate doing, and I don't look forward to it.

  • Invisible Finger||

    That's what my Dad did. At least once a week over dinner my dad would say something like "You're teacher is an idiot." Eventually I learned to deprogram myself.

  • BuSab Agent||

    ^This^ I homeschooled my kids. It doesn't take that much time. In fact, once they know how to read, they pretty much teach themselves. I just provided occasional direction and rides to the library. (In case you're wondering how that turned out--one chef, one nurse, one working on a PHD in Physics/EE, and one starting med school, the last one works at a nursing home but he still hasn't decided what he wants to do with his life)

  • sarcasmic||

  • Being Waterboarded||

    And it is even easier to homeschool now that it was back in your day due to the availability of free materials on the interwebs. My wife is homeschooling our kindergartner right now, and I think it takes about 2-3 hrs per day M-F. He is no doubt in front of his public-ed peers despite only being 2 months into his formal education. Once they get to third grade or so, just stick them in front of a computer for a couple hours a day on their own with some direction, and they'll learn just fine. While it would be nice to have your child always doing cool stuff like rebuilding engines, building huge forts, going on cross-country field trips, these things are not necessary for them to learn substantially more than in the gov. schools.

  • entropy||

    They don't do those things in schools anymore anyway.

    I don't know about the frequency of cross country field trips but haven't they shitcanned all the shop classes and practical learning? Building huge forts doesn't sound like something for a school that thinks tag is too dangerous.

  • entropy||

    Plus all the tools are prohibited by the zero tolerance policy. You can't give a kid a screw driver unless it's made of foam. And even if it is made of foam, he'll still be suspended if he brandishes it.

  • Being Waterboarded||

    My point was homeschooling does not necessarily require these things, not that public schooling does them.

    Andrew was lamenting that he and his wife did not have time to homeschool since they both work; I was simply noting that an overly extravagant plan for homeschooling is not needed.

  • Dr. Frankenstien||

    ^This.

    The students with involved parents do better than those who don't. This is because they make up for the deficiencies in the public system. Use the public system to babysit and teach your kids in the off hours. The only problem is that they are still responsible for tests and homework in the public schools.

  • Lysander Spooner||

    Lots of home school prepared curriculums out there for under $1k with textbooks annually. Mix with the internet and 2-3 hours per day is plenty if you make them stick to a schedule.

  • Kaptious Kristen||

    I went to public schools. My high school was excellent. Sophomore year English featured Ayn Rand's Anthem. Senior year Brit Lit featured Invictus.

    That being said, my Pa spent a lot of time deprogramming me. But it's doable. You just need to spend a lot of quality evening and weekend time with your kid, asking them "what they learned in school" and refuting the bad stuff. Then, when they get to high school, they'll be a contrarian brat like I was. Most of my teachers appreciated it :)

  • Zeb||

    The thing with public schools is that there is tremendous variation in quality and idiocy. Some are really not bad and some are terrible.
    Unless you know something about the particular school, I think the "you suck if you send your kid to public school" is pretty lame. As long as the scool isn't completely awful and you make sure your kids understand that what you get is school isn't everything you need to know about the world, and what the problems with public schools are I think that it can be just fine.

    If you can homeschool or afford a good private school (though most of them are leftist indoctrination centers as well), that is fantastic, but unless you are just sending your kid to school and ignoring everything after that, I don't think it is necessarily a bad thing.

  • ||

    This is a valid point. When my parents decided they wanted to move from New Jersey to Connecticut, my mom went up to various locations in Connecticut and actually researched and scoped out the various towns and their schools. The reason she chose the town we ended up in was because it had an excellent school with good teachers, and the high school I would attend was operated by the University of Connecticut and also had an excellent reputation and teachers. And she ended up choosing very well.

    But most people don't have the insane obsessive drive that my mother has, or the ability to move and choose where you want to land based on schools.

  • playa manhattan||

    My mom did the same thing. Location makes a huge difference. My HS had 13 AP programs, and that was 15 years ago. I entered college as a second semester junior.

    Meanwhile, 2 miles to the east, the HS has a 60% dropout rate..

  • Rasilio||

    "But most people don't have the insane obsessive drive that my mother has, or the ability to move and choose where you want to land based on schools."

    Ask and the Internet will provide

    Not a perfect solution for those who are geography bound but helpful to at a minimum see where various schools rate.

  • playa manhattan||

    Hmmm, the reviews for my son's kindergarten are complaining that it is "too political"....

  • ||

    You mean your mom actually gave a damn about your education? I figured for you to end up the way you are they just threw you in the basement with a candle and some raw meat.

    In all seriousness though, my mom and dad did the same thing when we moved to Texas. Hell, my wife and I are already scoping out where we would like to live in 4 years so the she-spawn can go to a decent school.

  • Kaptious Kristen||

    I also went to HS in Connecticut. The only good thing about the place was the education I received.

    (Ridgefield High School, BTW)

  • From the Tundra||

    I tend to agree, Zeb. We live in a suburb of Minneapolis that has really good schools. Minne is a liberal nightmare in a lot of respects, but the schools generally fare pretty well.

    My wife and I both spend considerable time with the kids, hopefully teaching them the important stuff. I have noticed very little crazy lefty shit coming home with them and, when I do, it gives us good stuff to talk about. Both kids also dig the other stuff - sports, music, school paper, etc.

    Just gotta do what you can.

  • ||

    When I moved from [State A] to [State B], my parents skipped on several homes/neighborhoods they wanted to make sure I would go to the right school in the right county.

    In the distant future when I have kids, I will probably do the same, as well as read all their books cover-to-cover.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Unless you know something about the particular school

    Fortunately, even terrible schools are arrogant enough to WELCOME the parents a couple times a year.

  • entropy||

    Increasingly I don't see how people can complain, if they send their kids to Maoist Indoctrination Camp you should know these things will happen.

  • ||

    Some of us are hoping we have the ability to choose by the time it comes around.

  • Zeb||

    People always can and should complain. Even if the bullshit they are complaining about is foreseeable. Public schools are not going to be killed by a few libertarians and religious conservatives opting out (while continuing to pay for it). Someone needs to keep complaining about this shit.

  • playa manhattan||

    Dude, I'm looking at my property tax bill right now. I want at least SOMETHING for my money, even if it is babysitting...

  • Zeb||

    Use the kids as secret agents to infiltrate the schools, subtly fuck with teacjers and administrators and expose the other kids to different ideas.

  • Drake||

    I used to get through hours of boring classes by looking forward to a good session of kill-the-guy-with-the-ball. Afterwards I was sweating, dirty, bruised, and relaxed enough to sit through more boring classes without medication.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    We didn't call it kill-the-guy-with-the-ball. But our name definitely wouldn't fly today.

  • Drake||

    Smear the guy who there's nothing wrong with?

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    We didn't even know what queer meant. But it rhymed.

  • Banjos||

    Sexist!

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, they've banned education, so it makes sense to me. Why not merge this into the equally logical and tolerant TSA? In fact, why not freeze into suspended animation all kids while at school and all travelers while traveling?

  • entropy||

    TSA is probably to regulate the new Federal Hall Monitor position. It's between them and an NSA front with a private contract.

  • entropy||

    Hell we can kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Remember it's not molestation when a federal employee does it.

  • Aresen||

    The kids are going to grow up without the understanding that doing stupid things can hurt.

    They will be so incapable of evaluating risk that they will suffer really severe injuries from stupid stuff they do when they reach their late teen years.

  • kinnath||

    Children must learn that stupid leads to pain long before they get their hands on a set of car keys.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Just like reduced exposure to germs is raising generations of kids without decent immune systems.

  • Snark Plissken||

    See also, the Polio epidemic.

  • Banjos||

    I let Reason crawl all over floors dirty and clean, let her shove everything in her mouth, and let our dogs lick her. She's 10 months old and hasn't been sick once.

  • Brett L||

    Did you try the floor mop onsie? I've got the wife convinced that its a good idea. Could use a female upvote.

  • Banjos||

    I once went a couple weeks without sweeping, Reason was caked in dog fur and filth. The floors were a little cleaner. So it can work.

  • fish||

    Reason was caked in dog fur and filth....

    ...and there's your Christmas card photo this year!

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    It's true. I saw it myself. Shit is crazy, yo!

    Thanks for the lovely Saturday, by the way. Your baby is a cutie.

  • Banjos||

    Ah, thanks, Evan. We had a great time.

  • fish||

    Friggin Dodger fans........! ;-)

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Odelay! Los Doyers!

  • Being Waterboarded||

    As a kid, my grandpa would constantly give us kids popsicles. He would strongly encourage us to share them with the dog as he chuckled. One lick for me, one for the dog, one for me, one...

  • Loki||

    CPS knocking at your door in 3... 2... 1...

  • Mickey Rat||

    So she takes after her namesake?

  • Invisible Finger||

    No, kids will grow up with the understanding that it's OK to beat the shit out of someone as long as an adult is supervising the activity; any victims are the adult supervisor's fault. The added responsibility will require annual 12% raises for all union teachers.

  • Hyperion||

    The feminization of Murika is almost complete.

    What's going to happen in a few decades if we are confronted by a hostile tribe that still has some testosterone left in its genes? Ask them to play nicely?

  • Pro Libertate||

    We die, like all mutations that lack survival characteristics.

  • sarcasmic||

    Mexicans?

  • Zeb||

    I don't think it is really all that complete. In some places, sure. But we still have plenty of people who hunt and shoot and fight and all that. People are way too fast to make over-broad generalizations. The way some people talk you'd think that the whole US had already turned into San Francisco.

  • Zeb||

    And weren't you the one complaining just the other day that American women had lost their femininity?

  • ||

    I don't think it has anything to do with "feminization". It's just retarded.

  • Zeb||

    Indeed. That's sort of what I was trying to say (or maybe what I should have said).

  • Mickey Rat||

    Calling this feminization seems grossly unfair to many women I've known. This is something beyond that.

  • kinnath||

    We taught our toddlers that no means no by leaving delicate little catci in pots around the house that they could reach when they were 2ish. This kept them from reaching onto the top of the stove when they were 3 to 4.

  • Paul.||

    This kept them from reaching onto the top of the stove when they were 3 to 4.

    For my toddler, the 3rd degree burns were sufficient enough.

  • sarcasmic||

    3rd? And here I thought I was cruel for allowing the kid to get 2nd degree burns. Blisters are good reminders.

  • kinnath||

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/heal.....ns/FA00022

    3rd-degree burn: The most serious burns involve all layers of the skin and cause permanent tissue damage.

    This is what you meant?

  • Paul.||

    A middle school in Long Island, New York has banned the playing of typical schoolyard games

    It's Long Island, and it's in New York.

  • Paul.||

    Kathleen Maloney

    You know what rhymes with "Maloney"?

  • sarcasmic||

    Banana-nana-fofoney?

  • Invisible Finger||

    Carmelita Scarfone?

  • WTF||

    Tony?

  • Swiss Servator, Kneel to Zug!||

    Anvil?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Orange?

  • Kaptious Kristen||

    Hitler?

  • Paul.||

    Guess what kind of legislators this generation of Middle Schoolers are going to be?

  • Invisible Finger||

    Obesity epidemic explained.

  • Banjos||

    Combine this with replacing fats with carbs and it is fully explained.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Say thanks to litigious parents.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Thanks, litigious parents.

  • Paul.||

    There is a great disturbance in the libertarian force...

    There's a school of libertarianism that suggests that the lawsuit is an effective tool in averting legislation and changing corporate behavior.

    I agree with this on paper.

    Apparently the lawsuit is an effective tool and changing school policy as well. What say you, libercosmopaleotarians?

  • sarcasmic||

    Apparently the lawsuit is frivolous lawsuits that should have been laughed out of court are an effective tool and changing school policy as well.

  • Paul.||

    Well, to the libertarian theorists point, he actually used the infamous McDonalds hot-coffee lawsuit as a positive example. McDonalds and other fast food chains lowered the temperature below the skin-burning point after the lawsuit, no law need be passed.

    It makes sense on paper, but I'm struggling with the reality.

    There's a video right here on Reason where the theorist talks about the positive effects of lawsuits.

  • sarcasmic||

    I've watched it. Like Rasilio said, it is based upon premises which don't exist in reality.
    Q - What do you call someone who graduated at the very bottom of their class in Law School?
    A - Your Honor.
    Too many idiot judges that will take any case just for the entertainment value of it, not caring about the asinine policies that may result from the outcome.

  • Rasilio||

    The problem is libertarians imagine the judges and juries would also be libertarians and laugh most of these cases out of court.

    A libertarian legal system with the citizens of today's America would tear itself apart in a matter of months.

    A lot of people would advocate for loser pays, however that is not a solution as it would prevent legitimate cases from being brought if the plaintiff could not cover the potential cost of losing.

    However variations on that theme could be implemented to prevent egregiously stupid lawsuits from being brought.

    for example, require the plaintiff to purchase a bond equal to some percentage of the damages they are seeking. If the plaintiff wins the cost of the bond is added to the settlement. If the Defendant wins he is awarded the value of the bond to reimburse him for all or part of his legal costs. Bond sellers will price the bond according to the strength of the case, weak cases would be much more expensive and in the extreme case you would not find a bond agency willing to take on the risk at any price and you'd have to post it out of pocket strong cases less so. This would also have the advantage of signaling the plaintiff how strong his case was in advance since in a lot of cases he cannot trust his lawyer who may just be interested in getting the maximum billable hours possible.

  • Paul.||

    Bond sellers will price the bond according to the strength of the case

    A kind of AAA rating system for court cases. I like it.

  • Tonio||

    I don't see how lawsuits can avert legislation. Not saying it's impossible, just a friendly request for an example.

    Lawsuits are the most powerful method of changing school policy; I don't know how to measure effective. But when the court says, no, you can't ban "I (heart) Boobies" breast cancer awareness bracelets the school rather has to take notice. Influencing a school board is a more complicated process.

  • Paul.||

    I don't see how lawsuits can avert legislation. Not saying it's impossible, just a friendly request for an example.

    The McDonald's case is cited as an example.

    When you get the real details on the infamous, poster-child of frivolous lawsuits, the details become more murky.

    However, even with the murky nature of the details, at the bottom of the pit there was still common sense: Don't do that and you won't get 3rd degree burns.

    No, the settlement wasn't as high as was originally reported after negotiation, some of it was reduced because there was a finding that it was "20%" her fault. Yes, she had 3rd degree burns and required skin grafts. That's what happens when you try to manipulate a styrofoam cup of coffee between your legs while driving down a road.

  • Brandon||

    Where do you see that litigious parents are to blame?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    All around me, my friend. All around me.

  • Paul.||

    I'm not convinced these decisions are made in a vacuum. Were they the direct result of lawsuits? Maybe not. But every large organization now has a 'risk management' department where they look at the organizations' activities and say, "What's our lawsuit exposure?"

    They go over school nurse reports etc., see that there were some injuries and calculate how much a lawsuit would cost. Then they make recommendations to avoid the lawsuit which is almost always to just ban the activity. Banning is easy.

  • Paul.||

    In today's Middle School History lesson, we give you progressive hero, John F. Kennedy:

    But the stamina and strength which the defense of liberty requires are not the product of a few weeks' basic training or a month's conditioning. These only come from bodies which have been conditioned by a lifetime of participation in sports and interest in physical activity. Our struggles against aggressors throughout our history have been won on the playgrounds and corner lots and fields of America. Thus, in a very real and immediate sense, our growing softness, our increasing lack of physical fitness, is a menace to our security.

  • Zombie Jimbo||

    Well all that plus amphetamines and opiates in Kennedy's case.

  • Invisible Finger||

    "Children can't be trusted with anything but spongy balls."

    Are these the same children that grow up to be police?

  • Being Waterboarded||

    Are my balls supposed to be spongy? Mine are firm but sensitive.

    I don't think I want my boys to grow up with spongy balls.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Why aren't these children participating in safe, non-violent physical activities like fucking?

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Peak retard? We gotta be close.

  • Paul.||

    Don't be fooled. We're no where near peak retard.

  • sarcasmic||

    We're always halfway there.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Like a mountain summit lost in the cloudy mist, Peak Retard can never be reached but only strived for.

  • Tonio||

    Bad analogy. Just because you can't see the summit from below doesn't mean you can't find it. You just keep going ever upward until you reach that point where there is no more up.

  • entropy||

    BUT IT WAS POETIC!

  • Loki||

    "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits." - Albert Einstein

  • Brandon||

    Just last week HuffPo was insisting that crap like this was a myth.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    In a press release, the school district stated that “structured athletics” with footballs and baseballs do not pose the risk of “an errant throw injuring a child.”

    Since when? That's just bullshit.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    The first thing I did when a batter dug into the batter's box was deliver an "errant throw" that injured a child.

  • Rasilio||

    I distinctly remember taking a line drive off the forehead in 5th grade gym class. I'm guessing that never happened because the coach was there.

  • Being Waterboarded||

    In high school varsity baseball, my team was getting its butt kicked one game. The opposing team was surreptitiously laughing at my team and not taking the game seriously. I came in to relief pitch and my coach ordered me to plunk the first batter with a fastball.

    Mission accomplished.

    So much for the organization part preventing playground justice.

  • ||

    That's the part of sports idiots who don't play them don't get. There IS an honor factor at play. Same with me in hockey and soccer. If the other team was - perceived or otherwise - jacking off, they were gonna hear from us in the form of a questionable body check, a fight or hard slide tackle.

    To send a message for the next game.

  • Being Waterboarded||

    Yup, the other team got the message and stopped acting like dicks. My pitch didn't provide more than a stinger since I hit him in the side and I couldn't throw faster than low to mid 80's anyhow.

    No long-term pain for either side, but a message delivered.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    And I, as the batter, happily took first.

  • Loki||

    *facepalm* Really!? What the fuck?

    When I was in middle school we played dodgeball with old half deflated volleyballs instead of the red rubber balls they normally use. In P.E. This was encouraged...

    Jesus christ, how long is it until they start requireing all the kids to wear helmets 24/7?

  • Paul.||

    Helmets carry germs.

  • sarcasmic||

    In my state the police can give a ticket to a kid on bicycle who is under fifteen and not wearing a helmet.

  • Loki||

    What state is that? State of Retardation?

  • sarcasmic||

  • KDN||

    Same in NJ. They may have expanded that to adults for all I know; wouldn't be surprised.

    Back when I was in high school some local yenta was agitating for a helmet requirement for children walking on the sidewalk because of some incident involving her special snowflake. Nannies gonna nanny.

  • sarcasmic||

    And I see it's 16, not 15.

  • Being Waterboarded||

    Who knew John Olerud was from the future?

  • General Butt Naked||

    Oh shit, I thought this was pretty funny.

  • PapayaSF||

    “some of these injuries can unintentionally become very serious”

    Is this person not a native speaker of English? Or just a sadly typical product of the public school system?

  • PapayaSF||

    Oh, and how many cartwheel-related injuries and deaths does the country really suffer every year?

  • Paul.||

    But for the rules, we'll never have to suffer the consequences of un-coached cartwheels.

  • Juice||

    And then they'll send notes home complaining that the kids are obese.

  • Ketogenic Paleo||

    That has more to do with the Food Pyramid & retarded science than with anything. The idea that exercises leads to weight loss is mostly a myth.
    If you really want to get pissed off at nutrition researchers & the government & learn that everything you think your know about health is wrong, read Gary Taubes' Good Calories, Bad Calories.

  • Kaptious Kristen||

    My middle school didn't have recess. That shit ended in 5th grade. But we did play actual sports in gym class.

  • JW||

    Same here. we just had lots of fights, instead.

  • Zeb||

    Am I the only one that looked at the picture and initially thought it was a crotch?

    Regarding the "sports should only be played under proper supervision" thing, I think that is one of the worst things being done with kids. Kids just playing on their own, making and enforcing their own rules is incredibly important in developing as individuals. Without that, people never learn how to manage their own time or to do things independently. I try to avoid the "kids these days..." kind of stuff, but I will say that the lack of unstructured play time for many kids probably is harming their development. I blame overprotective, paranoid parents and social and legal pressures against just letting your kids go out and play more than lack of free recess at school, though.

  • sarcasmic||

    Kids just playing on their own, making and enforcing their own rules is incredibly important in developing as individuals.

    Well yeah. Of course collectivists want to discourage such activity. Kids might do things without asking permission and obeying orders. Can't have that.

  • Robert||

    I looked at the picture and thought of it as a gang meeting, with the tennis ball the boss and the other balls as gangsters listening to him. Something like a Bud Bowl vibe with the beer cans & bottles, or even better the Joose Bowl.

  • Robert||

    Ture, but adult supervised football lets us indulge as coaches using kids as rather balky chess pieces.

  • ||

    Anyone watching Obama on TV?

    He claimed the deficit has been cut in half.

    And it's all the Republicans fault.

  • Ketogenic Paleo||

    With these types of assholes running the place, I think I've figured out why the War on Drugs has failed

  • ||

    And then they complain that the kids are obese.

  • Ketogenic Paleo||

    Fat kids has more do with the Food Pyramid & retarded science than with anything. The idea that exercises leads to weight loss is mostly a myth.
    If you really want to get pissed off at nutrition researchers & the government & learn that everything you think your know about health is wrong, read Gary Taubes' Good Calories, Bad Calories.

  • Kaptious Kristen||

    I remember back in the early 80's (1980's, assholes!) when we had a thaw & freeze, leaving our elementary school playground a big sheet of ice. Rather than cancel recess, the administration sent home a note that anyone who had ice skates (it was Vermont, so pretty much everyone) could bring them to school and we could skate on the playground for recess. As I recall, it was fucking awesome.

    Now I imagine they would cancel recess and maybe have The Hokey Pokey in the cafeteria or something. Duck, Duck, Grey Duck would probably be deemed too dangerous.

  • Zeb||

    Oh yeah. We had that sometimes too (also in the 1980s). There was a bit of a swail between a hill and the soccer field and often there would be a nice sheet of ice there in late winter. With or without skates, everyone was sliding around, having a great time.

  • entropy||

    Duck Duck Grey Duck is still racist.

    I insist it be Duck Duck Duck Duck Duck Duck Duck Duck Duck.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I remember getting stitches on my chin because I tried skating around in barn boots on my ice covered driveway sometime in the early 90s.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Incidentally, I learned not to do that again.

  • ||

    Yeah, I remember stuff like that too up here in Quebec.

    It "feels" like kids are less active than we were.

    Schools itched to get us outside every chance they had.

  • solly989||

    This whole thing confirms what I knew: kids from Long Island are assholes and deserve every bit of life-hate they get. They cannot be trusted with even a game of tag

  • dinkster||

    Well this should make eventually secession really really easy.

  • Randy Marsh||

    Holy fuck.

  • Response||

    Survival of the fittest. Those kids will do less well compared to their peers. If you live in those communities, then move or vote in new leaders/administrators. Or accept your choices in life.

  • Kate Hund||

    Homeschool!!!

  • camisetas baratas futbol||

    I know some boys may get hurt playing football, but I think they shouldn't ban football, it's a sport can bring great joy memory for boys, what a school it is if you can't play football!

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