Students at Weber Middle School in Port Washington are all going to be a little safer during recess and lunchtime because their school had banned something that has concerned and upset parents for decades. Balls. Footballs, soccer balls, baseballs, lacrosse balls. I’m pretty sure they have also banned pool balls, ping pong balls and also perhaps popcorn balls. They have instead allowed students to play with foam Nerf-Type balls.
Games of tag and cartwheels have also been banned. This all reminds me of this fictional humor piece about the invisible soccer ball!
According to CBS Local:
But Port Washington schools Supt. Kathleen Maloney said the change in policy is warranted due to a rash of playground injuries.
“Some of these injuries can unintentionally become very serious, so we want to make sure our children have fun, but are also protected,” Maloney said.
I am the survivor of a childhood surrounded by balls. I was never injured by one. I’m sure injuries have been caused by balls, even serious ones, but I’m also sure that kids NEED to play and scrape knees and get hurt and get hit in the face with a ball on occasion. This is what childhood is about! I’m not saying that a kid should suffer serious bodily trauma from being struck super hard by a stray ball in the head, but kids have been playing with balls since balls were invented (Did cavepeople have balls? I am sure cavekids played with like petrified dinosaur eggs or something or like old timey people had balls I don’t have time to research the history of balls, OK?) and they need balls! They need to run with them and throw them and kick them. This is just ridiculous. Why ban balls at all? Why not just make every kid wear a helmet at all times? Maybe in this school the walls of the hallways are also made of a hard, concrete type substance and they should cover them all in padding and marshmallow fluff or something.
Not only do kids need to play active games with balls because playing active games with balls can help kids get exercise, but kids NEED to get physically hurt. When my kids play outside and fall down and get a bruise I am happy about it! None of my kids have broken a limb yet but I think it’s good for kids to get slightly hurt while playing because PEOPLE GET HURT IN LIFE. If your kid never suffers a skinned knee or bruised elbow what will they do when they are grownups and they step on a stray Lego or bang their shin on a coffee table? We will raise them all to head to the emergency room the second they have a splinter. I’m not talking about serious or life threatening injuries that have happened from being hit very hard with a ball, I’m talking about normal playtime here, getting whacked with a kickball or a softball. This has happened to all of us growing up and none of us are damaged from it.
This is all just absurd. As I said above I feel awful for any parent who has had a child seriously injured, but coming from my own childhood spent playing with balls and surrounded by balls, I would want my kids growing up the same way.
(Yeah yeah I know, go ahead and point out all the unfortunate ball sentences I made above, but you know what I mean)
Props to awesome reader Sara610 who found a news article that says this measure is only TEMPORARY which a construction project is going on, and that students can still use “hard balls” in the gym while they are supervised. My question is this: why not just hold recess in the gym until the construction project is over and let the kids have at it?