From New Hampshire’s Eagle-Tribune:
Windham school officials drop dodgeball
By Alex Lippa | March 27, 2013
Dodgeball has been banned in Windham schools, due to concerns about violence and bullying.
The School Board voted, 4-1, last week to remove dodgeball and nine other “human target” activities from the district’s curriculum. The vote was taken after a committee of physical education teachers studied the issue, then recommended eliminating the games.
“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.” …
Does this mean they are also going to ban Tag and Duck, Duck, Goose? (It turns out we were right to suspect this.)
A middle school parent complained his child was bullied during a game of dodgeball. That prompted LaBranche to form the teachers’ committee to student “human target” games.
Those games included prison ball, slaughter, bombardment and others…
The committee looked at them relative to standards set by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education.
Rather than relying on their own common sense.
“It came back that they were concerned with these human target games,” School Board member Stephanie Wimmer said. “When professionals in our own district are saying we don’t need these games and they should be taken out, I want to respect the contributions of our professionals.” …
School Board member Dennis Senibaldi was the sole vote against the ban. “We have rules that are set in place to deal with bullying,” he said. “We don’t need to ban an entire round of games just to enforce those rules.” …
Clearly Mr. Senibaldi is a picker of nits.
The NASPE said there are any number of reasons to drop dodgeball.
“It’s an elimination game,” said Andrew Mead, program manager at NASPE. “Games like dodgeball and tag don’t keep kids involved and physically active. They objectify slower students who don’t catch as well.” …
You see? Even Tag is not safe. But we don’t want to "objectify" anyone.
Vicki Parady-Guay, athletic director at Sanborn Regional School District, said extra precautions are taken when students play dodgeball. “We use foam balls, which don’t even have outside casing on it,” she said. “It turns into more of a fun and spirited activity.”
Foam balls were being used in Windham, too, Senibaldi said. “It just makes me scratch my head,” he said. “The balls used aren’t really that hard. These aren’t the days of the big red jelly balls anymore.”
They were already using "foam balls"? And they are still claiming "violence and bullying"? For crying out loud.