Did you know that each year 650 children in America are killed playing dodgeball? Actually they aren’t, but that didn’t prevent a New Hampshire school district from deciding on Wednesday to ban the game, thereby becoming the latest school district to fall victim to Overreactive Non-Weapon Syndrome.
Boston CBS affiliate WBZ reports:
The classic gym class game has been a rite of passage for years, but dodgeball may have met its match in the form of the Windham School board, which at a recent meeting voted 4-1 to end dodgeball and other so-called “human target” activities, games with names like Bombardment and Slaughter.
School board member Dennis Senibaldi is quoted as saying, “It’s almost turning into a nanny state.” Almost? No, almost is when authorities talk about overreacting to a news story by banning a perfectly benign activity, then come to their senses before taking action.
The school district claims that the measure is being taken after parents complained about bullying — saying that their children were targeted during dodgeball. Lucky for the school that bullying takes place only when a volleyball is being hurled at meek or defenseless kids. Otherwise, they would need to ban the walk home from school.
The district’s superintendent, Henry LaBranche, told WBZ that schools are trying to teach students to respect one another and that dodgeball creates “conditions inconsistent with that message.” On the contrary, dodgeball creates ideal conditions for teaching respect by calling out the aggressors and explaining why what they are doing is disrespectful. What the school district is doing has another name. It is called sticking your head in the sand.
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