The Mercer Island School District in Seattle has banned its students from playing the game of tag because it’s just too physically and emotionally dangerous.
(Yes — tag. As in, the game that involves running and sometimes being tapped, which is far less than what I endure any time I take public transportation.)
As ridiculous as it may seem, Mercer Island School District communications director Mary Grady explained why the ban was definitely a good idea in an email to Q13, the local Fox affiliate:
The Mercer Island School District and school teams have recently revisited expectations for student behavior to address student safety. This means while at play, especially during recess and unstructured time, students are expected to keep their hands to themselves. The rationale behind this is to ensure the physical and emotional safety of all students.
Using the word “rationale” to explain why kids must be banned from playing tag seems like a bit of an oxymoron to me — and it turns out that many of the parents agree:
#share#“I totally survived tag,” mom Kelsey Joyce told Q13. “I even survived red rover, believe it or not.”
Q13 also reports that the parents were not part of the decision behind the rule — and that they’re very upset about it. In fact, another mom, Melissa Neher, created a Facebook group to discuss concerns over the ban, and which hundreds of people have joined.
Now, I’m no psychiatric professional, but I feel like the kid who would be traumatized by being even in the vicinity of a game of tag might need more help than the normal public-school system could offer. I’d also be much more concerned about the the “emotional safety” of a person having to enter the real, games-of-tag-very-much-allowed world without a clue that competition exists.