You can never be too careful as a teacher or parent. It’s your job to protect your chargelings to make sure they get nary a bruise – either physically or psychologically.
First we saw a town in Washington ban swings from all schools and parks, according to an Inquisitr report last fall.
Now, an elementary school in the U.K. is throwing its hat in the ring for “helicopter” award of the year.
Children have been doing handstands and cartwheels on school playgrounds for as long as there have been schools and playgrounds, but one elementary school in England is having none of that. The school has banned the practice, along with all forms of “gymnastics,” on the playgrounds, The Telegraph is reporting.
Emma Hermon-Wright, the head teacher at Old Priory Junior Academy in Plympton, says that allowing children to do handstands at her school has led to injuries, so they’re now banned.
“Following a number of minor incidents we took action to ban these gymnastic activities during play and lunch. Through PE lessons in primary schools, pupils are carefully taught to develop movements of their bodies in safe, controlled and supported ways. At playtime our children were not performing these in such a way and pupils were attempting gymnastic movements beyond their capability. This was resulting in injuries.”
Ms. Hermon-Wright did not give any specifics of the types of injuries children at her school have sustained from doing cartwheels and handstands.
Parents, who as a group have gotten a rap for their own helicoptering tendencies, aren’t lining up with their support. One mother, ridiculed the policy, saying:
Our children are distraught. Are we to wrap them up in cotton wool every morning before sending them in to school? What happened to kids being kids? Climbing, running, jumping and indeed cartwheels are all part of childhood. When I was at school, coming home with a grazed knee and bruised shins meant that you’d had a good day. Not to mention the fact that you are moving your body, gaining confidence, building self-esteem, developing resilience, working on balance, strengthening and stretching muscles, developing co-ordination, taking risks and delighting in shared play experiences.
But, really, what do parents know about what’s best for their kids?
Perhaps school boards here in the U.S. should follow suit. It’s not just handstands and cartwheels that should be banned; we need to seriously rethink such life-threatening activities as hopscotch and jumping rope. Not to mention hula hooping — a hip could dislocate! — and tiddlywinks, which could result in carpal tunnel syndrome.
Some smart educators have already banned dodgeball and red rover due to their terrible psychological impact on kids knocked out of the game first or chosen for the team last.
These “smart” educators are the same ones clamoring for sprouts and carrot juice in school cafeteria vending machines because our little darlings are obese.
Instead of taking away our kids’ imagination and zest for life, maybe we should pry the tablets from their little hands for an hour a day and put them outside with a Superman cape or Zorro mask. I’m willing to bet most of our police officers, firemen, and Medal of Honor recipients weren’t told every ten minutes as children, “Don’t do that! It’s too dangerous!”