News Views: Hands off play

Langley School District has banned Kindergarten students at Coghlan Fundamental Elementary from all forms of hands-on play.

An elementary school in Aldergrove has banned kindergarten students from touching each other.

Langley School District has banned Kindergarten students at Coghlan Fundamental Elementary from all forms of hands-on play.

That means children are not allowed to play tag, or hold hands, even in the form of a walking school bus, or during imaginary play, such as fake fighting games.

The ban only affects kindergarten kids.

How does the school intend to enforce this ban?

Send every boy to the principal’s office?

Actually, yes.

A letter home to parents says the school is going to have a “zero-tolerance policy with regards to hands-on play, resulting in the missing of playtime and trips to the office for those who are unable to follow the rules.”

The decision to temporarily ban hands-on play stemmed from concerns made by some parents about rough play on the playground.

Apparently, some kids were getting hurt.

“Appropriate play means you can’t grab a kid by his hoodie and pull him to the ground when you are playing tag,” said Langley School District spokesperson Ken Hoff.

Star Wars” imaginary play was also particularly troublesome.

High fives and fist bumps probably injured a few hands, too.

Imagine if the kids were playing knuckles or slap, or giving each other wrist burns.

What would happen if a girl kicked a boy in the shin?

A ban on hands-on contact for six-year-olds is a bit ridiculous.

If the kindergarten students at Coghlan Fundamental start saying bad words to each other next, will the district ban talking? Eye contact?

If one or two or more boys are causing a little trouble, deal with them individually, speak to their parents, explain and model appropriate behaviour, as well as consequences. To put in place an almost unenforceable rule on all students shows poor judgement on the part of adults in charge of teaching young children about such skills.

– Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News


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