November 2, 2006

You're It!

I read a heartening piece today in Time magazine. An elementary school in Massachusetts has banned the game "tag" from their playground on the grounds that the game could lead to a lawsuit over injury and potential damaged self-esteem among the students.

The article failed to mention the activities that had NOT been banned from recess playtime: thumb twiddling, Game-Boy use, gossiping, making fun of the nerds and sneaking behind the cafeteria to have a drag. These activities may continue as usual as any negative long-term impact has not yet been discovered. Tag on the other hand, well that's just asking for it.

Rewind to your elementary school years. You were just standing around minding your own business when that cute kid appeared out of the blue, tagged you on the arm and shouted "You're it!!" You had one terrifying option - the chase was on. Remember how you had to increase your normal speed of movement with the peril of falling down and scraping a knee? Remember that surge of overwhelming emotion as you realized you were "IT." It was almost too much to bear as you risked life and limb to find someone to pass the deadly IT on to. Your increased heart rate caused you to sweat and return to class disheveled and out of breath. Not to mention your "IT" factor that forced you out of your comfort zone and made you interact with children you otherwise would be afraid to approach. This nightmare played itself out daily at most of our schools growing up.

But standing out in a crowd is so last millennium. The year 2006 is all about pretending differences don't exist in our society. After all, are we not all "it?" Lawsuits and emotional damage aside, there are staving children in Africa who have never even heard of tag. And we unabashedly run around every day during recess playing this capitalistic "game?" What a disgusting show of American hubris.

Besides, tag is yet another insidious ploy of the Democrats to get our children to exercise against their will. Trust me, most of these kids would rather be sitting on their duff's eating French fries and downing Red Bulls. I applaud the courage of the Willett Elementary School officials to make this dream a reality for our nation's youth. Sadly, I fear that this new ban in Massachusetts will not be as progressive in its actual implementation as hoped. Already, a school in Washington that banned tag not one year ago has reinstated it in gym class only. It's only a matter of time until it makes its way back to the playground. And then the chaos begins again.

9 comments:

AngelaM said...

Tell a kid to run for 20 minutes and you will get groans. Let them start a spontanious game of tag and they will groan when they have to STOP running after 20 minutes. Sheesh! I could use a game of tag right about now.

So, I guess this means kissing tag is banned as well. At least girls and boys won't have to worry about getting each others cooties anymore.

Ban Dodgeball. Now THAT is a game that causes pain and makes the nerds feel even nerdier! :)

Lindsay said...

Oh my, the memories this brings back! Tag, dodgeball, war ball, not to mention the game of boys-chase-girls that lasted nearly my entire kindergarten year. It's sad to see them all slowly get tacked onto the Potential Lawsuit list.

Then again, though, maybe those kids in Massachusetts are all uppity or some junk anyway and would rather just stand around on the playground sipping their gourmet cappuccinos and good riddance to tag.

Doug said...

Hey, lay off. I knew I kid who was "it" and couldn't catch anyone else in time and the it-ness almost killed him. Okay, it was me.

Torchness said...

Wow, Massachusetts is weird. Gay marriage=ok, tag=banned.

We lawyers are ruining EVERYTHING!

Suzie Petunia said...

I don't remember playing that much. Maybe that's why no one liked me in elementary school. If someone tagged me "IT" I probably just shrugged it off and walked away. What a party pooper I was! (I knew I couldn't catch anyone.)

I applaud you for the use of the term "American hubris". Now I want to use it. First I'll need my trusty dictionary...

angela said...

I'm tempted tothink this must be an April fool's Day thing but I remember when my son was in primary school a few years ago the Head made them play football/soccer with a foam ball so no one would get hurt.
It happens here too.
Angela

Anonymous said...

heavens sake, of course we must eliminate tag! what if someone was able to fend off type 3 diabetes for another year! no, get them on a milkshake IV STAT!

BETHANY

Silly Marie said...

Things like this almost make me wonder when they'll stop using letter grading system. I mean, you can't have some kids getting A's while others are getting F's can you? It would hurt their self esteem...

Lets just pretend we're all good at everything. That's good training for the real world. The "slow pokes" (in mind or body) never get weeded out in the corporate world.

kaff said...

My nephews school uses numbers, so that is already in practice. I don't know why a "1" is better that an "A" or vice versa, but give me a break!

I loved tag, except when I was the dreaded "it", but red rover is still my favorite!