Sound Off for September 25: Should schools ban the game tag?

Sound Off for September 25: Should schools ban the game tag?

Kids at the Mercer Island School District in Washington are now banned from
playing the popular childhood game of tag on the playground. Parents say they had no idea about the ban until their kids told them. Now, moms and dads are asking why they weren’t part of the decision-making process.

It’s a game that practically everyone has played – but if you go to public school on Mercer Island, keep your hands to yourself. District parents were surprised by the decision.

The signs outside one elementary school encourage kids to join league sports teams – but playing tag on the playground is no longer allowed during recess.

Mom Melissa Neher has two kids in Mercer Island public schools. She created a Facebook page to help spread the word to other parents about the ban. In less than 24 hours, hundreds of moms and dads joined to voice their concerns, mainly that the district didn’t ask parents what they thought first.

Now that the ban is in place, one of Joyce’s kids no longer plays during
recess. She says he now just walks around with his friends and they talk
about video games.

Mercer Island School District communications director Mary Grady explained the district’s decision via email:

“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. School staffs are working with students in the classroom to ensure that there are many alternative games available at recess and during unsupervised play, so that our kids can still have fun, be with their friends, move their bodies and give their brains a break.”

What do you think? Is tag an acceptable game for children at school to play? Or should they play games that don’t involve physical contact?