World Media

Kids banned from playing tag at Washington school district


Melissa Neher has two kids at public schools on Mercer Island. Now, the school is backing off.

Education experts say that zero-tolerance policies initially allowed authorities more leeway in punishing students but were applied in a discriminatory fashion. Some joked to local news station KSN that somehow they survived tag when they were kids! But many teachers face a new mandate - teach students to relax.

This is how it should have been to begin with. "If changes need to be made, stakeholder input will be sought at each school". After finding out not from the school board, but from her kids about the ban on tag she created a Facebook page for parents, who were unaware of the school district's decision. Well, a laughing stock.

"The rationale behind this is to ensure the physical safety of all students", the email stated. Kids these days aren't playing outside like we did back in the day.

Some students attending school in one Washington school district will not have that memory. Worse, they did not know it was banned until their kids told them.

Let's hope Mercer Island's parents keep stirring up resistance here to the notion of "tag-like running games".

Seb And Co

Of course, the ban doesn't make a lick of sense, particularly in the context of what other activities the school offers.

The school promotes competitive sports like football, which is like tag only instead of gently tagging someone and saying "you're it", students will viciously tackle their opponents.

The district's vague response did not precisely ban "Tag", but hinted at touch-free alternatives. The expectations for student behavior both in and out of our classrooms can be found in the published Students Rights and Responsibilities. An "air-tag", perhaps? A tag-like gesture?

"Our group believes "tag" and other child led games encourage independence and much-needed activity", the group listed in its description.

"Our elementary principals and other administrators came up with the 'hands off" idea to help minimize negative physical interactions among elementary children during recess or unstructured play'.