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Should Students Still Play Tag on the Playground?

Should Students Still Play Tag on the Playground?

Are students too aggressive on the playground? Pediatric Occupational Therapist Angela Hanscom recently looked at this issue in a recent article.

"Kids are starting to hit with such force that they often end up whacking their opponent across the back in a monstrous slap," Hanscom wrote in her article featured on WashingtonPost.com. "I’ve seen this myself many times. 'Ouch!' one kid cries, now on their hands and knees and fighting off tears. 'Don’t hit so hard!' they yell up at the child standing over them. Often, you hear the other child whine, 'I didn’t mean too…' Many times the act seems unintentional, although painful for the victim nonetheless. Tag is now becoming such an issue that schools are starting to ban this once beloved game."

According to Hanscom, "in the fall of 2013, the problem of banning the childhood game hit a little too close to home."

"At a local New Hampshire school, tag was no longer a reality for many children," she wrote. "A classic game that was cherished through the ages was dismissed due to safety concerns. Parents and children were confused and some were outraged. Headlines stated everything from, 'Banning Tag is Dumb' to 'More Schools Banning Tag because of Injuries.' Curious, I started interviewing teachers in Maine and New Hampshire about what they were seeing at recess time."

According to Hanscom, "one teacher said, 'Kids are becoming more aggressive. When they play games like tag, they push with great force, often hurting the other child. We had to implement a ‘two-finger’ touch rule, so that kids couldn’t push so hard."

"Another teacher that had been around for 30 years, said she had seen an increase in aggressive behavior as well," she continued. "'They can’t seem to keep their hands off each other! Kids are always getting hurt.' A local principal stated that tag had become such a problem that they had to get creative. They gave the children foam noodles to “tag” the other children with and avoid actual contact with the hands."

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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