First they came for the toy guns. Then they came for the forefingers, which went extended could become a pretend gun barrel. Then they came for the toaster pastries (which could be bitten into a shape that some observers suggested gun, even if that wasn’t the biter’s intention).
Now they have come for the rest of childhood. In a misguided effort to shut out adversity, a school on Long Island has banned the use of balls during recess along with “physical” games like tag.
CBS New York interviewed Dr. Kathleen Maloney, superintendent of Port Washington Schools, who explained “Some of these injuries can unintentionally become very serious so we want to make sure our children have fun, but are also protected."
But one child’s fun is another’s fuhgeddaboutit. CBS quotes grim statistics from various official sources, suggesting the network is on board with the ban on every kind of ball imaginable (except for Nerf balls, which are still OK). The article quotes Michael F. Bergeron, executive director of the National Youth Sports Health and Safety Institute, as noting that "One of the biggest risk factors of being injured again is incomplete recovery or rehabilitation."
But when you take the child out of childhood, you are left with hood. (That doesn’t really mean anything, but I couldn’t resist saying it.)
If there is one positive to the story, it is that parents of students affected by the ban object to it. "Cartwheels and tag — I think it's ridiculous they are banning that," one of them told CBS. "Children's safety is paramount, but at the same time, you have to let them live life," opined another.
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