TAG Now Outlawed in Schools … whats next Dodgeball???


That recess right of passage known as “tag” is now being outlawed at Willett Elementary DangerSignSchool in Attleboro, MA. What’s next Dodgeball? Woops that’s right it was already banned, too exclusionary and dangerous. Now “tag” is being deemed to dangerous that it will cause injury or the dreaded liability that the school will meet in a lawsuit. We are not talking laser tag, just simply school ground tag. Where does the madness end?



Do you realize what you are going to create if children are not allowed to experience set backs and think everything in life is easy? Just remember, if you can dodge a wrench and traffic, you can dodge a ball. Also, tag never hurt anyone except providing healthy,clean fun and exercise. No wonder we are experiencing child obesity these day, children are not allowed to do anything athletic that may cause harm.

So is touch football and any other unsupervised “chasing” games that are deemed to pose the risk of injury as well as liability to the school.

“It’s a time when accidents can happen,” said Principal Gaylene Heppe, in her second year at the helm of Willett.

Heppe included the new rule as part of a standardized set of playground rules that were not in play upon her arrival.

In doing so, she joined in a growing movement against traditional games played by young children in school gymnasiums and playgrounds. (The Sun Chronicle)

What ever happened to kids just being kids? What every happened to the common sense approach that games and sports help in the development of a child? Instead foolish, over sensitized adults think that all activities that could remotely cause physical or emotional harm are deemed dangerous. Earth to school administrators, sometimes we need learning experiences to help us for situations that children may face later on in life.

“Playing tag is just part of being a kid,” she said. “Now, for children not to be able to make those decisions by themselves without interference from adults doesn’t give them the opportunity to make their own choices.”

Games like tag give children “social skills that transfer to later in life,” she said.

Parent Christine McAndrews agreed.

“I think it’s a little bit silly,” she said, adding that she was not aware the rule was in place. “The kids love to play pick-up football games that they organize themselves. It’s great for their social skills and they resolve things on their own. It’s good for them.”

“It’s part of being a kid,” she said.

Not it! Mass. elementary school bans tag

What a joke.

Recess is “a time when accidents can happen,” said Willett Elementary School Principal Gaylene Heppe, who approved the ban. (Yahoo News)

Posted October 18, 2006 by
Child Welfare, Education, WTF | 19 comments

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  • Comments

    19 Responses to “TAG Now Outlawed in Schools … whats next Dodgeball???”

    1. kw on October 18th, 2006 5:56 pm

      No wonder kids are bringing guns to school… they’re not allowed to play all the cool games and they’re pissed off!

    2. mrs. red on October 18th, 2006 5:58 pm

      And they ask why kids are getting fat? they aren’t allowed to run it off…. good grief, how on God’s green earth did anyone ever make it prior to all these rules??

    3. Scared Monkeys on October 18th, 2006 6:05 pm

      Here is a news flash to all the so called experts … children leard interactive skills on the palyground playing these types of games.

      They learn about winning and losing as well. I think I can remember an educator in my past telling me that we learn more from losing than winning. Well how is that supposed to happen these days?

      Let us not forget the exercise.

      How are kids supposed to develop if they are not allowed?

      Ever wonder why kids cannot cope these days with issues? Why things seem so overwhelming to them? The presures of life are usually wiped away on the playground as well as learned how to deal with them.

      No wonder educators are so willing to give kids Ridilin and say they are hyperactive … they kids are not allowed to get the activity out of their system.

    4. GreatOwl on October 18th, 2006 6:05 pm

      It is an alarming trend, however, as long as there are parents wishing to make a quick buck by suing schools there are going to be liability issues. I have watched many things disappear from the school scene. Once, every school had a diving board in the pools. Now many are disappearing. Indoor tracks are being built without pole vaulting facilitation. Trampolines are not allowed in schools.


      Lawsuits have caused insurance companies to either place a costly primium addendum for such items or often they will not issue at all. Tax payers are clammoring for public education to keep costs down. Reluctance to pay high premiums is one of the signs of the times.

    5. david r on October 18th, 2006 6:49 pm

      These types of “educators” spend half their time inventing jargon, and the other half bragging about how great their school is.

    6. Maggie on October 18th, 2006 7:11 pm

      It’s mostly because we live in a sue happy society. Lawyers coming out of the woodwork, everytime someone sighs.

    7. Scrapiron on October 18th, 2006 7:35 pm

      Dodge ball has been outlawed for years at the PC sissy schools. No flag football, guess they don’t want to get the flag dirty, unless it’s the U.S. Flag then the anti-american liberal democ’rats will stomp on and burn it.

    8. Scrapiron on October 18th, 2006 7:41 pm

      Lack of a normal life is what makes cowardly democrats. Never having the experience of failure is what brought on BDS. First time in their life they were told to shut up and sit in the corner. The mental facilities are now over run with democrats that had their first dose of ‘you ain’t so hot’. ROFL

    9. GreatOwl on October 18th, 2006 7:57 pm

      Hyperactivity is a condition which is diagnosed by a qualified physician at the request of the parents. Educators are not qualified to prescribe medications. I have worked in the field for over 40 years and have rarely had more than one or two students per year that are on any type of medication for hyperactivity. Those who have been diagnosed with ADHD have benefited from the use of a medication. To make a blanket statement that “educators are so willing” to use medications is far from being true. Most educators prefer to have students who do not use medications which would dull the intuitive process. It is for this reason that even when consulted by a parent we will refer the matter to a medical professional. Once a condition is diagnosed a close monitoring process takes place by the educator and is communicated to the physician.

      At any rate, I fail to see any relationship between ADHD and and the cost of liability insurance for at risk playground activities.

    10. Richard on October 18th, 2006 9:27 pm

      My question: when did the lawyers take over the schools, not to mention the rest of the country? How were our rights eroded in such a way?

    11. December_star on October 18th, 2006 10:42 pm

      This is really no shock to me, my son was not allowed to play tag in either of schools for the last 5 years. People think that if they take these contact activities out of their schools their children won’t get hurt. Well they are kids and when you take away on form of play they will just come up with another, possibly more dangerous. These parents need to remember what is was like to be kids.
      Kids also aren’t allowed to play on or around the trees in the school yard in his last elementary school.

    12. mrs.red on October 19th, 2006 10:22 am

      Great Owl, I have met some wonderful educators over the years… and have friends that teach now. I also have seen parents come to work and say oh my son’s teacher said he needs ritilan so we are going to put him on it. I was a high energy kid and had my share of teachers that just didn’t want to be bothered, and I also had teahcers that were wonderful at harnessing the energy in a positive way… Mr. Tarpley my 5th grade teacher, and Mr. McHaney my 7th grade science teacher both come to mind as teachers that were inspiring and taught me how to harness the energy in a positive way…but I can’t even imagine how awful it would have been to had to sit all day without running some energy off on the playground. We played chase, tag, dodgeball, crab socceer, socceer… all of it… I agree it’s sad that our society is so litigious that we have forced kids to become unable to just be kids…

    13. tuyvnsurvivor on October 19th, 2006 10:50 am

      My class of hich school, that is the little leaning wood building school USA… dodgeball, tag, redrover, a softball field absolutely full of stickers, bares many memories none bad, all good. No kindergarden or preschool other than the church next door, this independant school dist of a farming community could basically afford us an education from 1st grade to 12th grade, but the 28 that started the class pretty well stayed together for graduation. We had lavish things at our school…community that worked the kids at home, but at school we had things of reason — disapline, caring teachers out of our own community, plenty of functions where the kids performed or were put on exibit drawing lots of folks to the happening…pole dancing, Halloween, Christmas, Easter, Moms day…PTA was big. No football field or gym. We had what we called a track, some could run it bare footed, not me. Dodgeball, tag, and dusting errasors, now that was fun.

      Of that class, and I see them now and then at reunions, I only know of two divorces amoung them. No criminals known to me. Noticeably all good to their parents and have a community connection. I am not going to boast about some of the accomplishments of a couple of our class, because great luck and good fortune plays a roll in those things. But one fellow was actually a rocket scientist for 20 yrs at White Sands. One is a math prof at UT. One spent his Navy time as a officier on nuclear subs. One is a aircraft designer and builder, independantly. There are several PHD’s, off hand I know of math and micro biology. Twins out of our class teach math at a community college. Lots of patents have come from this group and is something we amaze at when together. No classmate of which I am aware has been unsuccessful, not all made wealth monetarily, but the discovery of the compassion, generousity and impact of their lives is nice.

      The community organized to take us to town by car loads to see the zoo, art exibits, the state fair. Farmers brought fresh food for the school cooks to fix us…fresh honey too, sweet. Tax payers fixed the roof themselves, kept the well clean and the hot drinking fountain flowing, the swing sets were held to only one broken arm a year.

      I cannot spell, no shame of my teachers. Never heard anyone mention suffering from the fun of dodgeball and tag…on the scale of importance of all our schooling, tag and dodgeball would indeed be weighed…because they were fun.

    14. dennisintn on October 19th, 2006 4:21 pm

      survivor, i don’t see anything wrong with your spelling, but you were probably ruined as a child from having to dust erasers and clean the blackboards. poor child, teachers would probably be put under the jail for breaking child labor laws for doing that now. most likely you’re all mentally scarred from having to perform useful tasks just for the benefit of the group.

      we were even allowed to carry pocket knives to school, and tested the sharpness of the blades by splitting hairs preferably pull out of somebody else’s head. we were terrible. i don’t ever remember anyone threatening anybody else with a knife or doing anything any more stupid with one than our games of mumbly peg or stretch.

    15. Jon on October 20th, 2006 12:40 am

      Certainly the UCLA didn’t have anything to do with this, did it?

    16. Columbus M.D. on October 27th, 2006 7:10 pm

      I agree it is good to promote self-esteem and avoid “hurting feelings”. Well, there are many other mechanisms for negative feelings besides being too slow to catch someone when playing tag. As I think back to gradeschool, being dissallowed indefinately to run, play tag or football, etc would be a devistating punishment (and I am sure many can relate). If you ask any kid what their favorite subject in school is, no doubt the majority will say “art”‘, “lunch”, and of course “RECESS”. This is a time for children to be free of rigid order, to be spontaneous, get lost in the moment, feel the life of having your blood pumping and legs moving. If I had to SIT STILL all day in school, SIT STILL playing tiddly-winks at recess, then go BACK INSIDE to SIT STILL the rest of the day… I think I’d have so much pent up energy inside that my head would explode.

      A better solution would be to have 2 separate playgrounds. The default playground would equipt all kids with air suits and helmets. Children would play “exciting” games where everyone wins and no one loses with no game objective or element of competition or teamwork… all inside a padded dome with spongy floors. No running. The “advanced but risky” playgroud, which could only be accessed with a parentally signed waiver, would allow children to partake in dangerous, hostile, potentially fatal activities such as running, tag, leap frog, or duck duck goose. At graduation, children should be given a similar choice to make on their own: enter the real world, or enter an even bigger padded dome.

      Celeste D’Elia, growing up, did someone you know and love suffer significant morbidity / mortality from a seemingly miniscule physical insult? Do you fear the anguish and injury associated with patty-cake? Have you developed fibromyalgia due to excess tension and too little exercise? What is your child allowed to do for fun at home: watch cheese mold… no mold is too dangerous… watch the linoleum curl?

      Whether you (Celeste D’Elia) are in part responsible for the school’s defensive stance or not, you supported this bizzare measure on the news, so I apologize if this discussion is directed to you undeservingly. But I would hope that you would not threaten lawsuits against the school for “allowing” kids to play tag at RECESS, but instead just teach you kid to decide to play something else if it seems that the game is getting too big or crowded for your tastes. It this rate, recess is starting to resemble detention.

    17. corey johnson on December 12th, 2007 10:48 am

      dodgeball is nothing more than a child hood game theres nothing wrong with kids playing with dodgeball whats so bad about it as long as theres no mockery and no fighting i’s perfectly fine

    18. Kyle on April 15th, 2008 1:09 pm

      Please America stop the madness!!!! At what length must big government, liberal madness go until we say STOP!!!!!!!!! Enough is enough… Please let us be us and stop trying to save us from ourselves…. We are not the problem. Big Government mandated controls, liberal freebie programs, and Social Marxism weaning its way slowly, slowly…quicker and quicker into our life. Please Americam wake up and support good old fashioned values, not big government, liberal controls…. before it is tooooo late!

    19. Jeffrey on February 20th, 2012 7:49 am

      All of you who support dodgeball have obviously had good experiences with it. No one takes into account that dodgeball basically allows bullies and/or “jock” type youngsters to gang up on weaker children and attack them without repercussion from the teachers. I still have an occasional nightmare about dodgeball day in elementary school.
      SM: Oh good grief, get over it. You will experience the same type of situations in every aspect of life.

      You said … “No one takes into account that dodgeball basically allows bullies and/or “jock” type youngsters to gang up on weaker children and attack them without repercussion from the teachers.”

      That’s BS, because I had teachers take kids aside who knew that kids were going out of their way to harm, rather than just play the game. Sorry, but such acts could go on in any sport or activity. Its up to an adult to act like an adult. Sorry, school was a better place with dodgeball, red rover and cream the carrier.

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