TORONTO – A Toronto school angered students and parents when it banned soccer balls, baseballs, footballs, tennis balls and volleyballs from the school grounds, the Toronto Star reported.
Students at Earl Beatty Public School were sent home carrying letters stating that nobody could bring any of the balls to the junior and senior schools after a “few serious incidents” in which staff and students were struck in the playground.
The temporary ban means only Nerf balls or sponge balls can be used by students at the school for now.
School trustee Sheila Cary-Meagher told the newspaper that the most serious incident involved a parent who was hit in the head by a soccer ball, suffering a concussion.
“I think the principal is reacting in a rational way. You don’t want anyone to be injured,” she said.
But some parents and students object to the ban, arguing that it is excessive.
Chris Stateski said his six-year-old son Jacob was “crushed” when he learned about the ban.
“He [Jacob] said, ‘Daddy, what am I going to do with all my friends?’ He wanted to change schools,” Stateski said.
Anna Caputo, a communications officer at the Toronto District School Board, said the ban was temporary and that the school would monitor the situation closely.
“It’s a small playground and 350 students are playing in that playground. There’s also a daycare [center on the site] so there are a lot of small children and parents going in to pick up the children,” she said.
When I first heard this story all I could think of was—and this from the same type of people who keep crying out that kids are too lazy and fat. So let’s take their balls away that give them exercise and a sense of team play, both of which give them physical and mental health.
I can see in a few years we’ll have the NFL -Nerf Football League. No need for helmets and pads, no need for medical teams, except for simple first aid kits.
I sometimes think that the so-called experts are confused and therefore sending mixed messages. They tell children that they are fat and lazy. They then take away sports that they could get hurt in. Or maybe they are just preparing them for the padded cells we will all need to ‘protect ourselves.’
It sounds to me that the school needs to better organize their playground. Put the ball fields farther from the traffic and the daycare. Maybe post signs that people should be aware of dangerous balls in the area.
Kids need to run. Kids needs to play. Many sports have balls…that’s why we pay billions every year to watch sports–be it taking little Johnny to his baseball game or watching the professionals play bocce at the local pub or watch football in our living rooms.
Either that or the gymnastics and track teams are going to get larger. But then again, this is Toronto—I wonder what would be done if someone got hit with a puck? Maybe it’s a good thing the school doesn’t have a hockey rink!
We are raising a generation of kids that will be the most weight conscious hermits we could imagine. People are afraid to be in crowds because of the flu or other disease that might be out there. We tell our kids constantly through TV, magazines, etc that they are doomed to thousands of diseases if they don’t eat right, exercise right or do whatever the next government edict is. We tell the kids that the computer has it all and teach them games that they can’t get hurt on, except maybe carpal tunnel. Who needs a dance or sporting event when you can Skype?
We need to teach our kids to live. We need to teach them human interaction is a good thing. We need to teach them that yes, you can get hurt but you can also get better. We need to teach them that sometimes you just have to decide for yourself and follow your dreams.
And schools need to let kids burn off stream. Kids have a great energy that sitting still just builds up. As adults, we need to learn from kids that running around stimulates the brain and the body, clears out cobwebs, and gives a better sense of self. So stop taking their balls away and let them play, let them dream, and let them just be kids for a little bit.