No more tag

My oldest daughter started Kindergarten today (and not only did she survive, so did I!). She boarded the school bus with only minor hesitation and then arrived back home with smiles and tales of all the fun stuff they did. She especially enjoyed running around outside in the Kindergarten yard with her new friends at recess and lunch.

Health experts constantly try to remind parents that it’s so important for us to help our kids get their exercise in, that they need to be active regularly and that it’s a very easy way to help fight growing obesity concerns.

Which is why I don’t understand why so many schools are banning tag, such as this school in Colorado Springs.

“It causes a lot of conflict on the playground,” said Assistant Principal Cindy Fesgen. In the first days of school, before tag was banned, she said students would complain to her about being chased or harassed.

Fesgen said she would hear: “Well, I don’t want to be chased, but he won’t stop chasing me, or she won’t stop chasing me.”

Fesgen said two parents complained to her about the demise of tag, but she said that generally, parents and children didn’t fuss about the new rules. Running games are still OK, she said, as long as students don’t run after one another.

Oh good lord. I’m all about helping children feel safe and secure, especially now that my own child is out of my sight and supervision for seven hours a day. But tag?

Tag is a staple of childhood. I played it constantly in elementary school. I sucked, I was never a fast runner so I was often caught easily and it could get frustrating sometimes to try to catch someone else, but it was a fun game.

It’s going to get to a point where kids aren’t going to be allowed to do anything anymore and then when they’re adults, we’ll wonder why they can’t deal with conflict. Maybe because they never learned how because even TAG was considered too much conflict?



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    • emily

      My kids’ school recently got a new principal, and to my son’s delight she is now allowing tag again. Tag was banned by the previous administrator, along with just about everything fun, including intermingling among grade levels, which means my kids are allowed to talk to each other during recess again. *eyeroll*

      I think the harassment in the article you quoted could happen in any playground game; the issue to deal with is respecting another child’s right to say ‘no,’ not banning all possible contact. I get so angry at attempts to control anything that might possibly be negative, instead of giving kids the coping skills to navigate through situations that they’ll need to deal with their entire lives!