I got a text from a fellow mom last week of an image she snapped in her son’s CT middle school. She captioned it “…in other words, no fun.” It was a picture of the “Recess Rules” posted near the playground exit in the school’s hallway. Here it is:
Whatever happened to teaching kids how to interact? Do we really need to ban basketball?
As a teacher, I can understand how these rules came to be. Fifth and sixth graders are handfuls. Balls of energy. The social scene is rapidly becoming the epicenter of their little world. Friends, boy/girlfriends, cliques, parties, sports…these are huge pieces of their life. These interactions get messy as kids learn to navigate them. There’s almost inevitably going to be fighting, bickering, and the potential for bullying and violence if these things aren’t monitored by adults who can model how to function in a community. I can really see how a friendly game of flag football could quite easily turn into a tackling game with black eyes, or how a basketball game can end in thrown elbows and skinned knees…I really can. But is the solution to just eliminate it? To pretend these social needs don’t exist? Yikes.