Do this with the kids, that will solve all these issues. – Opinion & Letters: Ostaszewski: Pig pile on schools that ban tag — If you haven’t been following this story, one school after another has been banning the kids game, tag. It has something to do with self-esteem. Her is a good letter about the trend.

As it turns out, the Attleboro School District will now review the guidelines for playground behavior, and one can only hope that this leads to a comprehensive policy outlining exactly how and when the students can play spontaneously.
The important lesson we can learn from all of this is that besides Massachusetts, there are schools in Wyoming, Washington, South Carolina and California that have also outlawed tag and other chasing games. And who knows what they are doing over there in Europe and Japan?

  1. GotoDengo says:

    I’m guessing “smear the queer” will not make the cut, either.

  2. joe says:

    thats right make FAT kids run less.

    next will be baseball cause not everyone gets to hit the ball during thier turn

    at my school it wasn’t tag but dodgeball that was all the rave.
    taugh me kill or be killed

  3. [..Let me tell you, I hurt myself lots of times in the playground, on that half-circle thing composed of metal bars, sliding down on the metal pole, choking on sand in the sand pit, coming down too fast on the slide, seeing how high I could get on the swings before jumping off, playing dodgeball, playing four-square, or just spinning around in place as fast as I could until I was so dizzy I fell down and chipped a tooth. Ok, so I was pretty injury-prone…]Link

  4. Mike Voice says:

    …one can only hope that this leads to a comprehensive policy outlining exactly how and when the students can play spontaneously

    Oh joy.

    A comprehensive policy on spontaneous activity…

    All the guys in my 6th-grade class would have been in perpetual counseling for playing “smear-the-queer” on the playground… 🙂

    For those who care, the rules seemed to be: one boy carried the ball and ran… while everyone else tried to catch & tackle him. The ball was then tossed to someone else… lather, rinse, repeat….

  5. ryan says:

    smear the queer was a lot of fun, but even in my elementary days it was an underground game. banning tag is just ridiculous. fun will be banned next.

  6. Raff says:

    I have a funny feeling that the human race is being fattened up for aliens to eat.

  7. Rick says:

    I trust Dodge Ball is still on the agenda?

  8. Mike says:

    How this society ever managed to survive before the “we know better than everyone before us” 60’s generation blessed us with their bright ideas is beyond me.

  9. Cognito says:

    I sure hope those terrorist types never arrange a game of tag

  10. Mucous says:

    When I was a kid, it wasn’t even called dodgeball, we called it murderball. We also had a variation called demolition. The gym teachers even used those names in gym class.

    I pretty much have to agree with #6.

  11. YeahRight says:

    3 things :
    1.So could someone ask the people that are administrating this “change” : Those of you that NEVER played tag when they were a kid please speak now…. betcha you will hear pure silence !

    2.OMG kids getting hurt by doing something… wow… that’s scary !

    3.Let’s shelter them all their young lives and then bring them in the work force… that’s going to be pretty !

  12. jC! says:

    TAG was banned from recess at my Elementary school when I was in 3rd or 4th grade. Kids that played were issued take-home referral’s that parents must sign and have returned. That was in the mid-90’s. The issue at our school was the location of choice for TAG was on the Jungle Gym where kids could fall from the top of the Gym in an attempt to escape being ‘It’

    Makes sense.

    Although, as I was appropriately playing on the Jungle Gym (going down the slide) the recess monitors mistake me for playing TAG and I fell victim to a take-home referral. Parents don’t tend to believe youngsters when they claim they were wrongfully accused 😛

  13. Schools spend so much time on B.S and still grades are terrible.

    Quit sweating the small stuff and get back to the business of being a good school.

  14. Murdoch says:

    Interesting that this nonsense should be surfacing at the very time that people are apparently coming back to realise that children need to experience real risk and danger if they’re to grow up making proper sense of the world and being able to learn how to make suitable judgements. (Sorry – can’t give a citation but it was of a study around children’s play areas in the UK, fairly recently).

  15. Curt Fields says:

    The schools are afraid of lawsuits. This has happened ever since that woman got money for spilling coffee on herself. Damn all lawyers.

  16. Mike Voice says:

    I thought “smear-the-queer” was just a goofy name limited to the area where I grew-up.

    Funny to see two other poster’s mention it… 🙂

  17. Named says:

    Smear-the-queer harkens back to a time when words had different meanings. Can you imagine trying to play that now? People would think it’s a gay pr0n activity.

  18. OhForTheLoveOf says:

    #15 – Because prior to that, there was never a liability suit…

    And since nearly everyone’s opinion on the McDonalds case is based on BS made up by blowhards who like to talk about shit, and almost no one with an opinion has ever actually studied the case, I cannot take most opinions on the case seriously.

  19. robin says:

    The more I read this blog, the more I realize Dvorak is god.

  20. Ascii King says:

    It’s stupid to get excited about this. Nothing is different. When I was young, adults had a long list of rules I had to follow and a list of things I couldn’t do. We were either sneaky about doing the things we weren’t allowed to do or we found something else to do. It’s the same today.

    When I asked my elementary school kids what they would do if Tag was banned from the school they both said they would just play something else. And that’s exactly what any kid would do. It’s only the adults who are scared about the loss of Tag because we remember it growing up. The kids don’t care.

    Tag has always been a tough game on self-esteem. It’s a game that doesn’t encourage you to get better, but rather just punishes you for not being the best. When we played, it was always the slowest, fat kid who was it. Once that guy was it he had no hope of ever catching anyone else unless we took pity on him and just let him catch us. So, my kids and I developed a better version of tag.

    The person who is it tries to catch someone else just like normal tag. When someone else is caught, they join the “it” side and help catch people. The last person to be tagged is the winner and is it for the next game. This version works out great because you still have to run around and catch people, but you don’t have to do it alone unless you are the fastest.

  21. Ryan says:

    God forbid our children have ANY sense of competition. As for the kids playing something else… well, this time it’s tag, next time it’s hide and seek, next it’s dodgeball (or hasn’t this one already been touched?), next it’s tetherball. How long before swings and monkey bars (or jungle gyms) are removed because they’re dangerous? After that, the kids will just sit in an organized fashion on the playground for 15 minutes of recess, or they’ll just decide it’s too much liability to allow the children outside the building and do yoga or meditation in the gym. They’re slowly eliminating anything that has any chance of teaching kids to be competitive and individual.

    This country is becoming truly exceptional in it’s mediocrity.

  22. Mr. H. Fusion says:

    #18, ya beat me to it. So terribly right too. But since when do blow hards need to be even close to the truth

  23. Ascii King says:

    #21, the great thing about all of these doom and gloom predictions is that they never come true. No one ever wants anything to change. Doom and gloom about the car instead of the horse and buggy. And now look, they were right! Cars everywhere and nary a horse to be seen. What is this world coming to? Probably the schools will just start feeding our children into a meat grinder because it’s easier that way. They’ll have to get permission slips, though.

    None of the ridiculous predicitions people make ever come true because we don’t WANT them to come true. Kids will be encouraged to play because we, as a people want that to happen. Tell me Ryan, do you remember when teachers were allowed to beat the kids in schools? I’m sure when they took that away, there was some old jerk with no kids in school complaining that it would lead to the downfall of civilization as well.

    Do you guys have kids in school or are you working from memory? The schools are different now. Parents are either invasive or lazy.

  24. I think dodge ball has long since been banned everywhere and the same for “four square.” Apparently even “running” is being challenged by the authorities.

  25. Ascii King says:

    Things were better back in the good old days, eh John?

  26. Donovan says:

    I have mixed feelings about this. I agree with everyone that this is silly. On the other hand, I had much the same experience that #20 referred to. I think that schools have brought this on themselves by allowing PE classes to be dominated by competitive sports. When every PE class consists of some team sport, the fat or uncoordinated kids suffer. And they grow up with a learned aversion to anything involving physical fitness.

    If PE would focus on personal fitness, exercise, diet, individual sports (like weightlifting) and get away (or at least offer alternatives) from the team sports that are a mini-exercise in social darwinism, we wouldn’t have silly crap like this going on. And we might be a more physically fit society.

  27. richard says:

    i’ll tell you what they’re doing in japan:

    nothing. kids over here still play on honest to god steel jungle gyms and aren’t afraid to slap each other around.

    one of the most refreshing things i’ve seen since moving here from america is that the children are free to be children.

    well, until high school, when all they do is cram for tests… but elementary school kids are able to actually BE kids.

  28. mr.jones says:

    But they can attend class in high shool stoned out of their minds.
    All students need to pass a drug test before allowed into school. And then random testing needs to occur. The drug prevention programs they use now only give the students information they do not need.


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