Monday, February 20, 2006

"Tag!" Not It on Playgrounds Anymore

While sitting in the IV ward, watching the wife milk some protein out of the cybertronic medical cow, Fox News ran a report on Tag! being outlawed in the Seattle school system.

Apparently kids were bullying others into playing. They'd *tag* an unenthusiastic peer and then the tagged would feel obliged to play. If you don't WANT to play tag, don't TAG anyone else. Trust me, the tag bullies won't be having any fun if you don't threaten to *tag* another.

And get this, a bunch of kids in the school signed a pettition to stop the game. No bullying, peer pressure or the like there I bet.

And why is *tag* so popular these days? Well, schools (under the threat of lawsuit) have removed the jungle gyms, the see-saws and swing sets. And organized sports, aka kick-ball and keep away are too competitive and favor the tall, strong and quick. And spying on the girls, playing soldier and throwing rocks at distant trees are just not kosher, 'PC' wise. Playing in the sand stirs up small airborne particulates that make an asthmatic's life experience less than optimal. Digging to China reduces property values in the third world.

And get this paraphrased quote, "TAG is still being played in Phys Ed but supervised with a Nerf! Ball(TM)" ? ? ? ?

Recess just isn't fun anymore.

Imagine this school's recess,
a recess with no fun,
No sand to speak of,
Above you only sky,

Imagine all the students,
rolling in viynl spheres.

Isolated from their peers,
No touching allowed,
Free from competition,
No kick-ball games too,
Imagine no friends,
in your recess ground...

Imagine no ball games,
No winners or losers,
No need for plans or scheming,
A childhood of safety,
Imagine all the children,
Shielded from life at school...

You may say they're cynical,
about the youth we had,
hope the kids could have ours,
And maybe even have some fun.

I wonder for how long my kids will have a geodaisic set of monkey bars, swing set, plastic & wood jungle gym and tree covered playground. Won't be long before they're playing on a recycled, non-allergenic, squishy foam rubber indoor playground, with no acute angles, no kinetic equipment, covered with an anti-bacterial, polarized, UV filtered dome.