Society

School Bans Age-Old Playground Game of Tag

| by Denise Recalde

A California elementary school has banned the game of tag on its playground, much to the consternation of parents of the school's students. 

The principal of Gold Ridge Elementary School in Folsom, California, informed parents of the ban in a March 10 letter about new school policies, KOVR reports. 

In the communication, school principal David Frankel wrote: "Students were instructed that physical contact including tag games, touch football, etc. were not allowed on the yard." 

Frankel additionally notified four parents that their children had been warned against playing too roughly during school recess, The Sacramento Bee reports. 

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"Today your child received a warning for unsafe/physical play (i.e tag/pushing). They walked with the yard supervisor for the remainder of recess," his note to the parents read.

A traditional game played for several generations, some parents had difficulty understanding the harm that could arise from playing the game.

"I don't personally agree with it," said Sam Hammer, the father of two children attending Gold Ridge. "It's something we all did as kids and I never seen any harm come from it."

Students at the school also objected. 

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"I don't really like it," said Mallory Gibbens, a fourth-grader at the school. "I mean I don't really play tag but I don't think it's fair to everyone else that plays tag!"

But Gibbens understood the rationale behind the ban.

“My principal, he doesn’t want us to have tag at school because people, they touch too hard,” Gibbens said. “Sometimes they push people over and my principal doesn’t want anyone getting hurt.”

Folsom Cordova Unified School District and representative Daniel Thigpen clarified the letter was sent to only a select group of parents after some students got injured playing contact-based games.

"In this case, kids were getting too rough ... so the school told them to stop playing those games ... It’s not uncommon for a school to enact specific recess rules to address specific behavior problems," he said. 

Katie Esteves, a mother of four kids attending the school, stated: "I know that it's based probably kid by kid." 

She isn't concerned about her children playing tag but understands why the school principal is looking to crack down on rough play. 

"It’s really up to him what he probably feels is best for his school," she said. "As long as it’s being monitored and people are being safe, then I feel it’s OK."

The ban is specific to Gold Ridge, not other schools in the district. 

Sources: KOVR, The Sacramento Bee / Photo credit: Ebpilgrim/Pixabay
 

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