The dark forces of political correctness and the general wussification of America have failed to outlaw the rite of passage that is dodgeball as a school-sponsored activity in Louisiana.
A group of about two dozen teachers and education desk jockeys calling itself the Louisiana Physical Education Standards Committee had tried to add a wholesale, statewide prohibition on dodgeball to a set of revamped physical education standards, reports The Advocate, a Baton Rouge newspaper.
However, Louisiana’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education rejected the ban.
Supporters of the dodgeball ban expressed shock at the decision.
“Honestly, I didn’t think it was going to be an issue,” Louisiana Physical Education Standards Committee member Kathy Hill told The Advocate.
Hill, a kinesiology professor at Louisiana State University, suggested that the plan to ban dodgeball was designed as a largely symbolic attempt to reduce bullying.
“In trying to be really sensitive about bullying, which is just a huge issue now in the schools,” she told the Baton Rouge newspaper. “We just felt like we needed to put a statement in there about human target games.”
The state education board rejected the dodgeball ban because they feared a public backlash and because they viewed the ban as draconian and dumb.
“Dodgeball is an activity that we know many of our students enjoy,” board vice president Holly Boffy told The Advocate. “We want to be careful that we don’t create regulations that would stand in the way of students getting fit and enjoying P.E.”
A second board member, Kathy Edmonston, said she believes gym teachers in Louisiana who choose to offer dodgeball as an activity can figure out how to make games safe from bullying.
“Teachers have good sense,” Edmonston told the newspaper. “I do not think we should have lofty standards and say you cannot play a certain sport.”
Louisiana last amended its physical education standards for taxpayer-funded schools in 2009.
Various working groups composed of gym teachers, health officials and interested parties held meetings from January to March of this year to formulate proposed revisions.
“Lastly, human target games (e.g. dodge ball) and drills that promote aggressive behaviors by attacking and overpowering other humans are not to be permitted,” read the proposed rule prohibiting dodgeball in every nook and cranny of Louisiana’s public schools.
A 21-member standards review panel had previously accepted the dodgeball ban with no questions asked.
Backers of the dodgeball ban now appear to have set their sights on rules about the balls which can be used for dodgeball.
In recent years, school districts across the United States have banned dodgeball. Critics have insisted that the playground sport invites bullying and that the risk of concussions is too great — even, somehow, with Nerf balls. (RELATED: Revenge Of The Nerds: New Hampshire School District Bans Dodgeball)