Society

Parents Shocked By School District's Decision To Ban Game Of Tag On Playground

| by Brendan Kelly
kids playing tagkids playing tag

A school district in Washington state has banned students from playing tag on the playground.

Mercer Island School District parents were surprised to hear from their children that they are not allowed to play the popular childhood game during recess. 

"Good grief, out kids need some unstructured playtime," mother Kelsey Joyce told Q13 Fox.

The district banned the game without consulting parents, who are now wondering why they weren't part of the district's decision.

The communications director of the school district, Mary Grady, explained the decision to Q13 via email.

“The Mercer Island School District and school teams have recently revisited expectations for student behavior to address student safety," Grady wrote. "This means while at play, especially during recess and unstructured time, students are expected to keep their hands to themselves. The rationale behind this is to ensure the physical and emotional safety of all students."

This explanation wasn't enough to satisfy parents.

"I totally survived tag," Joyce said. "I even survived red rover, believe it or not."

"I played tag," Melissa Neher, mother of two Mercer Island students, said. "I survived."

Signs on the playground of one district elementary school encourage students to join sports teams, but during recess the students aren't allowed to play a game of tag.

"In this day and age of childhood obesity, there's a need for more activity," Neher said. "Kids should be free to have spontaneous play on the playground at recess. It's important for their learning."

Neher created a Facebook page to spread the word about the ban to other district parents. Within 24 hours, hundreds of parents joined the page to voice their own concerns. 

It is unclear what the school district's response has been to the parents' concerns regarding this policy.

Sources: Q13 Fox, My Northwest

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, SmartSign/Flickr