After what must have been a few collective espressos and a few more microbrews too many, the public education system in the state of Washington has officially gone off the deep end.
The most recent example comes from the southeastern Washington city of Richland, where school officials have decided to purge swings from the playground because some kid might get hurt, according to CBS Seattle.
Local school playgrounds are already bereft of swing sets. Local parks may be next.
“It’s just really a safety issue,” school district spokesman Steve Aagard told local CBS affiliate KEPR. Swings have been determined to be the most unsafe of all the playground equipment on a playground.”
School district officials blamed their insurance company for the change. The insurance company is, of course, concerned about liability from a potential lawsuit for a swinging incident gone wrong.
Veritable parent on the playground Muge Kaineoz said she is very happy about the ban.
“When she starts elementary school, those swings can get crazy,” Kaineoz told KEPR, noting that her young daughter had once walked in front of a kid oscillating to and fro’.
Another Richland resident, Gail Thorricellas, disagreed.
“They were our great joy and we all played on them. I truly can’t remember anyone being hurt,” Thorricellas told the station.
The swing ban fits pretty well with other bans happening in schools in the state of Washington these days.
Back in June, for example, officials in the Edmonds School District in the suburbs of Seattle outlawed birthday cakes and other birthday sweets from all elementary school parties. They blamed new federal wellness guidelines that require schools to scrutinize what children are eating for the ban. Rather than cake or cupcakes, local bureaucrats suggested, students can now enjoy pencils. (RELATED: School District Looks To Birthday Cakes For New And Exciting Thing To Ban)
Last week, the school board in Seattle unanimously resolved to direct public schools across the city to celebrate “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” instead of Columbus Day on the second Monday of each October. The resolution declares that Seattle’s taxpayer-funded schools have “a responsibility to oppose the systematic racism towards Indigenous people in the United States.” (RELATED: Seattle School Board Votes To Replace Columbus Day With ‘Indigenous Peoples’ Day’)
It’s not completely fair to single out the Seattle area for its weirdness, of course. In August, an elementary school in the outer suburbs of Atlanta outlawed birthday cupcakes, cookies and, in fact, all food from birthday parties over concerns that such delicious treats are unfair to students with dietary restrictions. (RELATED: School District Bans Birthday Cupcakes Because They AREN’T FAIR)
And in March 2013, a school district in Maryland — where kids have been suspended for making guns with their fingers and with toaster pastries — outlawed hugging, swing-pushing and homemade food in public elementary schools for anyone except a parent’s own children. (RELATED: Maryland school district outlaws hugging, homemade food, pushing kids on swings)