Let Your Children Be Children

by Travis Wright

Ok, normally I won’t rant too often. However, something popped up on my radar that concerns me a bit. I was reading CNN.com this morning and I noticed that this town near Boston, MA, is taking away all the fun from recess from these kids. No contact sports, No Tag, No Flag Football, etc.

ATTLEBORO, Massachusetts (AP) — Tag, you’re out!

Officials at an elementary school south of Boston have banned kids from playing tag, touch football and any other unsupervised chase game during recess for fear they’ll get hurt and hold the school liable.

Recess is “a time when accidents can happen,” said Willett Elementary School Principal Gaylene Heppe, who approved the ban.

While there is no districtwide ban on contact sports during recess, local rules have been cropping up. Several school administrators around Attleboro, a city of about 45,000 residents, took aim at dodgeball a few years ago, saying it was exclusionary and dangerous. (Watch how second-grader Kelsey interpreted the rule — 1:30)

Elementary schools in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Spokane, Washington, also recently banned tag during recess. A suburban Charleston, South Carolina, school outlawed all unsupervised contact sports.

“I think that it’s unfortunate that kids’ lives are micromanaged and there are social skills they’ll never develop on their own,” said Debbie Laferriere, who has two children at Willett, about 40 miles south of Boston. “Playing tag is just part of being a kid.”

Another Willett parent, Celeste D’Elia, said her son feels safer because of the rule. “I’ve witnessed enough near collisions,” she said.


For kids to grow into functional adults, I believe they need to have adequate social interaction along with adequate physical activity and also have the stress relief that playing some of these banned games will allow these children.

The parents and educators of these children need to tap into their childhood memories and realize that playing recess were some of the funnest times of their elementary school lives. We learned a lot on the playground. Sure, we got some scuffs and bruises, but it taught us some valuable lessons on interpersonal communication and how to handle adversity.

If we take away the children’s games, we begin to disallow them the right to be children. They don’t need coddling every step of the way. They need the bumps and bruises and they need the challenges, as they help make them stronger individuals.

We need to stop with the wimpification of our children and our society, in general. Take away all the things that develop our strong mental fortitude and we will be left with a bunch of limp-wristed, socially in-ept, non-contributing members of society. Do we really want that?

Tag. You’re it. Well, not everywhere… Many towns are contemplating DOING AWAY WITH RECESS. Wow.

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4 Responses to “Let Your Children Be Children”

  1. Steve Olson
    October 26, 2023 at 9:02 am #


    I couldn’t agree more. We live in a culture of fear. It permeates everything, but most of all it permeates the lives of our children.

    I drive by a Jr. High everyday on the way to work. You know most bikes I’ve seen at the bike rack? Three! When I was in Jr. High in the 80s you’d see hundreds of bikes out front on a nice day. No wonder obesity is a problem. 13-15 year old kids don’t ride their bikes to school and I think it’s because the parents are afraid they’ll be hit by a car or kidnapped. How are these kids going to mature? When I was 13-15 my bike was transportation. It was a lucky day when my parents gave me a ride anywhere.

    I have a two and four year old and I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t want them to be the ONLY kids riding bikes. Anyway…

    Good rant!


  2. John Martel
    November 4, 2023 at 10:22 pm #

    Geez, I grew up about 45 minutes from there. Man, what a joke. I wish they were kidding, but they are not. And we wonder why more and more kids today have no social skills. They just call, IM, or text whatever friends they have… and hide behind the technology. Opps, I mean… LOL

    I actually worked at my old high school for a short period of time about 6 years ago and was amazed at how much things had changed. It’s all about pushing them through and saving money. No one likes to get sued, and we are a “sue crazy” society, but by limiting recess games like that… the kids will tend to become social misfits, have problems learning, interacting and have a better chance of getting into trouble later in life. The moto seems to be “let someone else deal with it” and in the end we all deal with it. Man, I loved dodgeball - how can anyone get rid of that? What is left, playing chess? No, they will ban that too because those that aren’t ‘smart’ enough will feel left out.

  3. lawrence
    November 28, 2023 at 3:36 pm #

    Another Willett parent, Celeste D’Elia, said her son feels safer because of the rule. “I’ve witnessed enough near collisions,” she said.

    I suspect that she’s the one who feels safer.

  4. Vending Man
    April 28, 2023 at 2:48 pm #

    Serious?!?! Kids need both physical and verbal interactions. Physical interactions on the playground teach them what is acceptable and what is too far. When they get in trouble, they know they’ve gone to far.

    Vending Man’s last blog post..Spokane Vending Machine Business for Sale

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