Students at a Plymouth, England, elementary school are no longer allowed to perform “cartwheels” and “handstands” after administrators deemed the moves too advanced for children.
According to the Plymouth Herald, the Old Priory Primary Academy banned all “gymnastic movements” this week after administrators reported minor injuries among several students.
Emma Hermon-Wright, the school’s interim headteacher, says the ban will keep children from performing acrobatics “beyond their capability.”
“Following a number of minor incidents we took action to ban these gymnastic activities during play and lunch,” Wright told the Herald. “Through PE lessons in primary schools, pupils are carefully taught to develop movements of their bodies in safe, controlled and supported ways.”
Both students and parents alike reacted negatively to the announcement, alleging the policy criminalized normal childhood behavior.
“They are taking away a child’s right to be a child and they are taking away the things we took for granted as children,” Sarah Evans, a mother of two, told the Herald. “As a parent I just simply don’t agree with it. Bumps and scraps are all part of the rough and tumble of being a child.”
Another parent, who asked to remain anonymous, called the rule “ridiculous,” arguing that minor injuries while playing are a part of growing up.
“It is ridiculous. They are banning children from being children,” the woman said. “They are not allowed to run, play conkers and now they can’t do handstands. They are not allowed to take any risks.”
Similar policies are being adopted by schools throughout the Western world at a growing pace, with even the most mundane activities being targeted for regulation.
Another school in the United Kingdom went one step further last April by banning “running” on its playground after administrators called the activity a safety issue.
“I know children do get the occasional bump to the head or grazed knee while running around on the playground but having spoken to a number of parents as well as children, 100 per cent of both expressed that running and getting the occasional minor injury was most definitely preferable to not running at all,” a parent said in response.