J. D. Heyes
April 1, 2013
The nanny state mentality is becoming more institutionalized in America as evidenced by the recent decision to ban the age-old gym class game of “Dodgeball” in one New Hampshire school – though trust me, others will follow suit.
In an incredible four to one decision, the five-member school board panel at Windham School voted to ban the “classic gym class game” which “has been a rite of passage for years” for kids – not to mention a whole lot of fun – according to CBSBoston. At the same time, the board voted to end all other so-called “human target” activities – games with names like “Bombardment” and “Slaughter.”
“It’s almost turning into a nanny state,” said school board member Dennis Senibaldi, the lone school board member with enough sanity left to vote against the ban. “What happens when they replace that game with something different that another group doesn’t want to play, do we eliminate that group of games?”
Yes, Dennis. The answer is, appallingly, yes.
Didn’t you know? Dodgeball equals bullying
Oh, of course there were lots of touchy-feely reasons for banning a game that has been around longer than most board members have been alive, to be sure. They include a handful of complaints by whiny parents, who claimed their kids were being “bullied” – targeted by the other kids during Dodgeball games. After “studying” the issue, a “special committee” said the games should go away. After all, we can’t be teaching our kids to be competitive or to learn how to adapt to adversity and overcome because, you know, the world plays be the same rules as the Autobot Society.
Needless to say, not a few students were stunned by the decision.
“I think they’re really fun because they’re just soft balls so it doesn’t hurt if it hits you,” sixth-grade student Lindsey Stagg, who – at her tender age – spoke more truth and sanity then the four lunatics and their “special panel” who voted to end the traditional game.
Stephanie Wimmer, the board’s vice chair, told WBZ-TV the board is constantly “looking at our curriculum” for changes. Sure.
“We spend a lot of time making sure our kids are violence free,” Windham superintendent Dr. Henry LaBranche lectured. “Here we have games where we use children as targets. That seems to be counter to what we are trying to accomplish with our anti-bullying campaign.”
All of a sudden, Superintendent LaBranche?
“It’s an elimination game,” said Andrew Mead, program manager at the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. “Games like Dodgeball and Tag don’t keep kids involved and physically active. They objectify slower students who don’t catch as well.”
Raising a generation of pansies who can’t handle adversity
Objectify? How about motivate? Challenge? Concepts that encourage those who don’t play so well to find ways to be better?
What’s next, ending tackle football, basketball and track because, gee, some kids are just more physically talented than others?
There are alternative solutions other than simply banning an obviously popular activity. How about an “opt-out” clause, board members? Let kids who are getting “bullied” opt-out of this ultra-violent contact sport and do something else during gym class. That way, kids who still want to play can play. Why do you have to ban the activity?
Do you see where all of this nannyism is leading?
We are teaching an entire generation of kids that a) equality means equal outcomes, not equal opportunity; b) excelling at something should not be rewarded but criticized and the playing field “leveled;” c) that they should not have to face difficulty or adversity in life (and we wonder why so many of our kids are on psychotropic drugs); and d) choice, opportunity and freedom are archaic notions that have no place in “modern society.”
Meanwhile, children in the rest of the real world are still living in it. Perhaps that is part of the reason why the U.S. lags so far behind those countries in so many categories.