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A School District In New Hampshire Just Banned Dodgeball Because It Encourages Bullying

Submitted by on April 1, 2013 – 9:59 am3 Comments

It’s been a long time since I played a game of dodgeball. In fact, it’s been so long that I don’t even remember playing dodgeball as a kid. It’s a sport that’s mostly reserved for elementary school and maybe middle school, before teenagers start acting too cool to play it. But, from what I do remember, it was a pretty great game—a great way to blow off some steam in between classes. But, at least one school district in New Hampshire will no longer allow students to play dodgeball because—get this—they feel as though it encourages kids to bully one another and promotes violence.

I’m not making this up, either. The Windham (N.H.) School Board in New Hampshire voted 4-1 recently to eliminate dodgeball and “nine other human target activities” from schools because they feel as though the games encourage students to bully one another, which is something they’re obviously trying to avoid.

“We spend a lot of time making sure our kids are violence free,” Windham school superintendent Dr. Henry LaBranche said late last week. “Here we have games where we use children as targets. That seems to be counter to what we are trying to accomplish with our anti-bullying campaign.”

My question: If dodgeball is considered “bullying,” what are kids going to be banned from doing next? Playing tag encourages them to chase after one another. Playing football encourages them to tackle one another. Talking encourages them to talk to one another. And, hey, they might say something that’s not nice if they’re talking! Let’s just ban EVERYTHING so that no one does anything wrong to anyone else ever.

Banning dodgeball in an effort to curb bullying is silly. Could the sport encourage bullying? Of course. But, when kids are being properly supervised, it doesn’t encourage bullying any more than tag, football, or talking does. So, the Windham school district made a mistake by banning it. And, they should seriously consider lifting the ban immediately.

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