Webster’s Dictionary defines “game” as “sport of any kind; jest, frolic” but what if games are more than that? Not to suggest that games are a serious business. Their whole purpose is amusement and entertainment. However, games—specifically those that are originated and executed to the backdrop of an elementary school playground—are essential to character development in young children. Currently, there is a trend across the country in school districts to ban the recess essentials that older generations know and cherish. These “games” are a necessity for our nation’s youth. They install children with the skills needed to live a morally sound, virtuous, mentally proficient, and physically durable life.
Several states across the country (New York, Virginia, Maryland, Maine, Ohio, Texas, and California for example) are embarking on a ridiculous mission to oust games involving contact from school yards. The main concerns include dodge ball (sometimes referred to as bombardment), tag, football, and in some instances, swinging. You heard right. Swinging has been added to the list of contact sports. Educators are concerned that children may push each other on the swings too hard. Alright, fair enough. But why dodge ball and tag?! The velocity and force of impact of an inflated, rubber sphere of doom is apparently disconcerting. Pushing has become problematic in both tag and football. Then, one cannot overlook the immense mental stress that these sports can cause. Children develop self-esteem issues when they are “it” in tag or last chosen in dodge ball and football. And bullies are developed in these games: children that naturally take advantage of those who are smaller, weaker, and slower than them...
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...ome a part of. These games help to forge youth into the successful, business savvy, socially tolerant individuals that our nation needs. The individuals who care for one another, yet are not afraid to stand up and cry “injustice!” (or “time out!”, if you will). The ones who recognize right from wrong, and have enough sense to make the world into the place they want to raise their kids in. A place of dreams and of schoolyard games.
Comte-Sponville, André. A Small Treatise on the Great Virtues. New York: Metropolitan/Owl Books, 2001. 30 – 85.
Sealey, Geraldine. “Is Tag Too Tough For Kids?” ABC News 24 June 2004. 19 October 2004 <http://abcnews.go.com/US/storyid?=91520&page=1>
Louey, Sandy. “Recess Gets Regulated.” The Sacramento Bee – News 22 August 2004. 19 October 2004 <http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/story/10469970p-11389340c.html>.
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