New Hampshire Bans Dodgeball Because Of Bullying Concerns
We hope you enjoyed your childhood, because it's slowly being legislated into dust.
Earlier this week, a New Hampshire school district banned dodgeball out of concern that the game leads to bullying. The Windham (N.H.) School Board voted 4-1 to drop dodgeball and nine other "human target" activities because it believes they encourage violence and a bullying mentality.
The ban was instituted after a parent complained that their middle school student was bullied during a dodgeball game.
“We spend a lot of time making sure our kids are violence free,” Windham superintendent Dr. Henry LaBranche said. “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.”
To illustrate how far down the rabbit hole school districts near Windham are, one even uses some sort of soft foam balls instead of real dodgeballs. How about banning that practice? Getting beaned in the face by a swollen red rubber ball thrown at high velocity is a rite of passage on par with finding out there's no Santa Claus and losing your virginity. All we can do is hope those events don't all happen on the same day.
Bullying is a serious concern. Schools should be sensitive to it and address it. BUT, among other school-related activities that encourage and provide a fertile ground for bullying are getting on the bus; having a communal lunch, playing on the playground, asking kids to dance before they've developed coordination, etc, etc. etc. We're talking about dodgeball, not playing paintball!
Bullies will find another way to bully regardless of how much legislating a school board may do to try to prevent it.