Thursday, September 4, 2008

Warning: this blog may be hazardous to your health

With which I guarantee karmic gymnastics-related injuries to my children

This week we have a Thursday News of the Absurd Will These Administrators Please Get a Grip Rant-Inspiring Moment...

From Yahoo News:

Australian School May Backflip on Cartwheel Ban

"An Australian school which recently banned its students from doing cartwheels, somersaults and other gymnastics during recess is reviewing the decision after parents and students got all bent out of shape."

Apparently, the school had banned gymnastics at recess due to the threat of injury.

Huh. Perhaps it would be best also to ban walking (danger of tripping), reading (squinting may cause damage to eyesight, plus there is always the issue of paper cuts), water fountains (choke hazard), writing (there is simply not a safe enough writing implement), and reading this article (toxic exposure to overuse of puns). Students could be required to wear helmets and knee pads to school, where they would sit in padded chairs that are bolted to the ground (to prevent tipping), no less than arm's length away from other students (violence), and listen to volume-moderated lectures from stuffed replicas of instructors (actual teachers being far too dangerous).

Apparently, "the school had classified gymnastic activities a 'medium risk level 2' danger to children when performed in class."

I'd guess other "medium risk level 2" activities include trigonometry (causes hair-pulling in some students) and wearing your pants too short (provokes spitball attacks). At the top of the "High Risk Level 1" list? Going to a school run by terrified morons.

I am reminded of the wisdom of one of the world's great literary characters, Dory from Finding Nemo. When Nemo's dad justifies his over-protection of his son by asserting that he promised his son he would never let anything happen to him, Dory responds, "Huh. That's a funny thing to promise....You can't never let anything happen to him. Then nothing would ever happen to him. Not much fun..."

What other activities do you think they should be ban?

21 comments:

Marcia said...

And I thought American society was litigious . . .

ephelba said...

In all seriousness, as in, I am not even kidding, a friend of mine in PA was shocked to learn her kids couldn't RUN at recess. School policy. Simply too many children ended up in the nurse's office. Wasn't there a school in the news because the kids weren't allowed to play tag?
I say, send a box of bandaids out to the playground and let 'em rip. There should be more running and somersaulting and chasing. And more recesses.
Just my two cents.

Amber Lough said...

I just read a YA sci-fi based on this premise. It's called RASH, by Pete Hautman. And in this book, all good citizens wear helmets when walking outside. ;-) Of course, the MC isn't exactly a model citizen...there wouldn't have been a story if he hadn't been.

Try to get your hands on it. It think you'd like it.

Jacqui said...

Ephelba, those are my two cents too. Especially more recesses.

Jacqui said...

Marcia, yeah. I wonder when parents started thinking the words "teach," "shelter," and "litigate" all meant the same thing...

Amber, I will check it out -- thanks for the recommendation!

Angela said...

What about breathing? Think about all those harmful pollutants in the air.

I bet there's more injuries as a result of bullying than there is cartwheels. How about paying a bit more attention to the bullying going on instead of turning a blind eye so we can catch all those illegal summersaults going on...

Jacqui said...

Angela: word.

cindy said...

it's so good to know that the children will be safe in school.

i'd personally like to see EATING banned at school. the choking hazards are just too great, honestly.

Anne Spollen said...

And I thought the banning of dodgeball was the end of it...

Rena said...

I read that article too. How stupid. Why not ban bullying, peer pressure and gang violence in schools? Oh wait, we can't do that because that's stereotyping kids and not letting them express their individuality.

Okay, I'm off to do some cartwheels down the hall. I hope my kids know how to dial 911. ;)

Jacqui said...

Rena, now I am picturing a mad parental cartwheeling protest outside this school...

Cindy, definitely. And turn those drown-hazard water fountains off too, I think.

Anne: oh, dodge ball, where have ye gone? They play with nerf balls now and nobody gets "out."

Sharon Blankenship said...

Does the term "Helicopter Parent" have anything to do with this silliness?
In my system, a parent sued because her kid got her socks dirty when the kid splashed in puddles. The suit was thrown out. . . with prejudice.
But, still. Schools are a safe place to try many new behaviors. Kids will never learn if they never get a chance to dare. . . to try.
What the heck? Break out the bubble wrap for the newest generation.
It will have to be large. . . kids are getting larger.

J. Thorp said...

yeah, dodgeball.

i was a horrible athlete, a geek, etc. -- but (perhaps as a result) i could dodge. i loved dodgeball.

heaven forbid kids are called "out" -- perhaps, in light of the article, we should go with "not-safe" ...

Jacqui said...

Sharon, ha! I always giggle at the helicopter parent" image. I see me spinning and saying, "Vroom!"

Thorp, ditto. But I couldn't even dodge. We tall folk are not made for quick evasive motions, I think.

Mary Witzl said...

That is just incredible. And they wonder why kids are struggling with obesity?

I'm with Angela on the bullying issue. I think it would be great if they concentrated on that instead of worrying about kids injuring themselves just being kids. Sure, get kids to wear their bicycle helmets and make sure the roads are safe, but no somersaults or cartwheels? For pity's sake, if I COULD have done cartwheels, I sure would have!

Rena said...

OMG -- dodgeball! Don't even get me started! Okay, too late. Awesome for you who were good at this sport. I, however, sucked at it. I went to a Catholic school (for awhile) where the nuns got some sort of sick kick out of putting little girls in circles surrounded by boys will hard rubber balls. Okay, that sounds real weird, but hey, this was Catholic school. We used to get hit SO hard with those balls. I don't know about banning the game, but maybe making it voluntary? Ugh -- repress, Rena, repress!

Jacqui said...

Oh, Rena, PLEASE use that in a book someday, okay?

Mary, I once heard a stand-up comic make fun of the new playground safety standards. He said, "We had our own kind of helmet; it was called 'learn to get the heck out of the way.'"

Also, all, I must admit it was an attempt to show Tink a cartwheel that lead to the back issues this weekend...

Jill Corcoran said...

Our school tried to ban the kids from flipping around the bars. I took on the Principal (now gone) in front of the whole school and won. My daughter loves to flip, and now she can flip freely!

And by the way, I'd ban crazy parents who are going to make their kids grow up to be a bunch of sissies.

Jacqui said...

Jill, I love the image of you taking on the principal. Verbally? Or was there an actual flipping contest?!

J. Thorp said...

oooh -- a flip-off!

Jill Corcoran said...

Verbally, but if it came down to it I could have taken her in a flipping contest, if you know what i mean.