Jul 2012 26

Craziest School Bans

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Soccer Ball by MrT Soccer Ball by Mr.T

First things first, I have to acknowledge that Canadian and American schools definitely know how to get creative with their internal regulations. No balls on the playground, no hugging, no shorts, no Halloween costumes, no Yertle the Turtle, and one of my absolute favourites, a ban introduced by our British friends: no best friends! I don’t know about you, but these sound like a different planet to me. Let’s explore more of these brilliant constructs created by bored-to-death school officials. I apologize for extensive use of sarcasm, but I simply couldn’t deal with some of this information in any other way.

Say Goodbye to Soccer on the Playground

A Toronto elementary school has banned most balls from its playground, citing the need to protect staff and students after a parent got hit in the head with a soccer ball. Earl Beatty Junior and Senior Public School has roughly 350 students from kindergarten to grade 8. Principal Alicia Fernandez sent home a note warning parents their students are no longer allowed to bring soccer balls, basketballs, baseballs, footballs, or volleyballs to school. All balls that weren’t made of sponge material would be confiscated. Have you ever tried to play basketball with a sponge ball? Of course not, even a five-year-old would tell you that it isn’t a very bright idea, not to mention that it’s boring. And what do our children hate doing the most? Boring things. This will result in one thing and one thing only: no sports and no movement.

“They have been trying very hard for a long time to get kids to stop throwing balls so hard and it wasn’t working, so [the principal] just had to ramp up the policy,” Ms. Cary-Meagher, ward trustee, said. You can’t assure absolute the protection of all children; it’s only natural that children get an occasional bump or a bruise — because they are children! It’s part of growing up, and besides, when you’re young, you’re made of luck and rubber. Serious injuries are rare, especially with a ball — unless it’s made of stone of course.

Some schools have banned dodgeball and floor hockey, while others have outlawed contact sports like tag. In 2008, an Australian school made international headlines after it made headstands illegal for fear of neck and back injuries. We are about to grow a generation of fat, uncoordinated youngsters that do not know how to manage any risk by themselves. "Only 7 per cent of Canadian children get the required hour of daily physical activity and policies like a ban on balls risk turning kids off exercise," suggests Kelly Murumets, CEO of ParticipACTION.

Hey, I Saw That Hug!

A Hug by Brad Fults A Hug by Brad Fults

Bring on the madness! According to Principal Tyler Blackmore from Matawan-Aberdeen Middle School, hugging leads to incidents of unsuitable physical interactions. I don’t know what she means by that, but somebody should say this aloud: feelings of happiness and sympathy do not qualify as unsuitable; they are human. The message also said the rule’s goal is to keep students focused on academics. Yes, that’s right: forbid teenagers from doing something and they will surely immediately forget all about it and never try to do it or think about it again. What a brilliant idea!

School Superintendent David Healy says the district has the responsibility to teach children about appropriate interactions. I was speechless for ten minutes after reading this information. Somebody really needs to explain to school officials that when somebody is sad, he would probably prefer a hug to a high-five…

Yertle The Turtle: “Too Political” to Be Quoted

An elementary school teacher in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, was told she could no longer display the quote from the Dr. Seuss book Yertle the Turtle, "I know up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here on the bottom, we too should have rights,” in her classroom. This is due to its political polarization. Another great example of how principals are ridiculously afraid of any opinions presented to children. Introducing our children to the idea of the importance of equality between all levels of society? Nobody is saying that society is unequal, but it is definitely not hurtful to remind ourselves and our children that it should stay that way. Apparently, some school authorities don’t think so.

Wearing Shorts? Go Home and Change!

Uniform by Olivia Uniform by Olivia

The Greater Toronto Area was suffering extremely high temperatures. Students at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School were excited to wear shorts on one of the few days of the year they could ditch their uniforms. The day before a non-uniform day principal Paul Parron announced that no shorts, no khakis, and no ankle socks were allowed to be worn on the civilian day. Even after this ban, children decided to show up wearing shorts. This resulted in 63 of them being sent home to change, said Tracy Barill, a superintendent with the Durham Catholic District School Board. She couldn’t say how many changed at school. No one was suspended. Let’s just boil our children. They don’t deserve to be comfortable during their classes. What an outrageous idea to allow them to wear shorts on a hot summer day. Sometimes I feel like I’m from a different planet when reading about these rules — don’t you? I’m positive that when I was at school, nobody would act like this over pair of shorts; the principal would probably wear a pair herself.

Soy Spread Banned Because it Looks Too Much Like Peanut Butter

“Any products considered to be a peanut butter replacement are no more appropriate in our schools than regular peanut butter,” Thames Valley District school board director Bill Tucker wrote in a recent memo.

Tristan Hopper from the National Post reported on the situation:

To combat mix-ups with real peanut butter, WowButter promotes an elaborate step-by-step labelling program. On the first day of school, WowButter parents send a prepared letter to the child’s teacher indicating their intention to pack the product in school lunches. From then on, every sandwich bag or container carried by the child is affixed with a “100% peanut and nut free” label provided by the company.

So far, only Thames Valley School Board decided to turn their backs to this new, safe opportunity to have something that tastes like peanut butter but is completely harmless to those allergic to it back in schools. It’s about time we started to trust our children a bit more with their food, don’t you think?

No More Halloween Costumes

Halloween by Paul Stein Halloween by Paul Stein

St. Therese of Liseux, a Hamilton elementary school, banned spooky Halloween costumes. “All of the kids are upset,” Lynda Fraser, whose twins, Skyler and Kendall, attend the school, said for the Toronto Sun. The principal insisted on the no-costume policy due to safety and security concerns (perhaps some masked and sneaky six-year-old from a different school will intrude upon classes) and shortened instructional time (no idea what this means) in the classroom. Another non-routine part of schooling banned. How do we expect our children to be excited about school when we take away everything they could possibly enjoy?

Cherry on the Top from England

In merry old England, the drive to not offend or allow anybody to suffer the horrible consequence of hurt feelings has reached an even more ridiculous height of insanity. With the socialist ideal of collectivism invading the mind-numbed followers of repackaged Marxism, in British schools children in elementary schools are being encouraged to only play in large groups,

Douglas V. Gibbs wrote for the Canadian Free Press. The idea behind this insanity is that if a child doesn’t bind to one person, she won’t suffer the bitter pain of splitting up from her best friend. This is an outrageous intrusion into the privacy of children, not to mention that it is so unrealistic that I wonder whether the schools officials shouldn’t be locked up somewhere far away from their students.

Let Us Know If You Have a Good Story about School Bans!

Are you both baffled and fascinated by the utter incompetence and absurdity of some school bans? Does your child have to endure similarly challenging conditions? Let us know in the comments!

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