Stop Banning Our Kids From Being Kids

Society pretends it isn’t so, but let’s face it – school is not a natural environment for the growing child. Kids have to sit in an often uncomfortable seat for hours on end, have no say who they can sit next to, can not talk unless spoken to, can not go to the toilet without permission and often cannot choose for themselves what they would like to wear.

As a teacher, I devote so much of my time to help maximise my students’ enjoyment for learning and appreciation for the positive aspects of school such as positive social interactions and self growth.  I am drawn to this profession because I can see that it is possible to create joy from the school experience. That kids who have only seen school as a negative can be turned around quite quickly.

That is why I get frustrated with the constant barrage of regulations and bans that lessen the students’ opportunity for enjoyment of school.

Take this unfortunate case for example:

Children at Pope Paul Catholic Primary School, in Baker Street, have been barred from playing the national sport over concerns there could be accidents.

An angry parent of a year five child contacted the Potters Bar Edition to say he thought “the world has gone mad” over the 
ball game ban.

The whistleblower did not wish to be named as he feared the school would “bear grudges” against his child.

He said: “I’m just rather fed up of the health and safety coming out of the school.

“Break times are time to let off some energy and relate with other kids.”

He also pointed to football’s ability to teach valuable life lessons like winning and losing and the importance of teamwork.

And speaking about the injury fears, he added: “Boys might fall over and hurt their leg, but you just get up, wipe it off and carry on.”

Headteacher Helen Lines said: “The children aren’t allowed to play football on the playground during the winter months because there isn’t enough room.”

She added: “Many of the children want their own game and there’s no room to do anything else.

“In the summer there are plenty of ball games on the field, but it’s too muddy in the winter.”

Despite the weather picking up as spring has sprung, Mrs Lines said pupils were still banned from playing football.

She said: “We’ve tried a rota system but it’s too tempting for others not to join in.

“We’ve got lots of people trying to play a very active sport like football, there are going to be accidents.

“There are lots of children who don’t want to play football.”

She added playing the sport in the confines of the playground was too “dangerous”.

Ms. Lines rationale makes no sense at all.  On the one hand she says there isn’t enough room because of the great demand for multiple soccer games and on the other hand she claims that there are children who don’t want to play, thereby intimating that their stance wont affect too many.

There’s a reason why kids like to play active sports during recess – they are kids!  Not only that, they are sitting down for hours on end.  Let them run!  Let them enjoy their recess!  Don’t even bother investigating why boys aren’t thriving at school when you want to ban the very activity that gives them an outlet for their restlessness and something to look forward to.

Ultimately, it’s not entirely the fault of schools.  They are entitled to cover their backs in the fear of being sued.

Here is an idea:  How about Governments passing legislation that makes it much harder for parents to sue schools for run of the mill accidents?

And how far will this go?  If you ban soccer, you have to ban monkey bars, slides, basketballs, cartwheels, running, bunsen burners, scissors and sharp pencils etc.

School is already a less than perfect place for our children.  Why make it so much worse?


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