Rules Kids not learning in School
Middle School in Illinois, 13-year-old Megan Coulter was
given detention for hugging two friends goodbye before the weekend-a
violation of the school's ban on 'public displays of affection.' One
California school district worried about 'bullying, violence,
lawsuits' also banned tag, cops and robbers, touch
football and every other
involved 'bodily contact.' In some schools, free play has been
replaced by organized relay races and
adult-supervised activities, in order to protect children from
spontaneous outbreaks of creativity. This makes sense
to the sort of person who thinks children must at all costs be protected
from the scrapes of life
and insulated from the prospect of having to deal with social
interactions or disappointment.
We're already paying the price for epidemic of over protectiveness.
Congress has appropriated more than $600
million to encourage kids to walk
or bike to school. An entire generation of kids now rides in
minivans to schools where they aren't allowed to chase one
another, swing on swings or play
dodge ball. And we wonder why we have an obesity problem."
November 18, 2007
Sykes is the author, most recently, of
Won't Learn in School.
St. Martins, 2007