Education
Students arrive for class at Mahnomen Elementary School in Mahnomen, Minnesota September 26, 2013. (REUTERS/Dan Koeck) Students arrive for class at Mahnomen Elementary School in Mahnomen, Minnesota September 26, 2013. (REUTERS/Dan Koeck)  

Boy Admonished For Playing This Popular Childhood Game

Photo of Chuck Ross
Chuck Ross
Reporter

At least one Canadian teacher frowns heavily upon a schoolyard game nearly every child has played.

David Kemlo received a letter from his six-year-old son’s teacher who expressed concerns about the child playing a “chasing game” during lunch recess.

“[Your son] was involved in a chasing game with other children in our class at lunch recess,” reads the teachers’ letter, which was published by Calgary’s Metro News.

Concerned with the activity, the teacher said she spoke to children in the class about the dangers of the “chasing game” and “we have decided to work on strategies together as a group.”

The teacher suggested other games the boy could play.

“Please ask your child about what happened today so that he can think of other ways to play nicely at recess, for example, freeze tag, imagination games, or use equipment,” the letter reads.

“Chasing is dangerous because we lose control of our bodies and others get hurt, as they did today,” the teacher wrote. “Both children chasing and the children being chased have a responsibility to stop chasing games. If they cannot do this independently they are encouraged to see a supervisor.”

Kemlo posted a picture of the letter on Facebook, generating outrage from other parents who thought that the teacher was being overly cautious. He eventually removed the letter from his Facebook page, but said he still thinks it is “silly.”

“To take the time to print out the generic letter and use all these general terms and you’re going to sit down and have discussions with six-year-olds about strategies? Like, give me a break,” Kemlo told Metro News. “It’s a little ridiculous.”

Last year, a Canadian school district notified parents that it was banning all games that involved “hands-on play” — including tag, holding hands and imaginary fighting games. (RELATED: Canada School Bans Kindergartners Touching On Playground)

Tamping down on common schoolyard play isn’t just a Canadian thing. A number of U.S. school districts have prohibited children from playing games like tag or from doing cartwheels. Other U.S. schools have banned children from holding hands and playing touch football.

Last year, a New Hampshire school banned tag because it violates their “no contact” policy.

(h/t Christina Hoff Sommers)

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