School District Bans Game of Tag for Students’ “Emotional Safety”

Officials in the Mercer Island School District in Washington State made an executive decision to ban the game of tag on the playground to “ensure physical, emotional safety of students.” Parents weren’t even notified of the decision. They only found out because their kids told them.

Obviously, parents are upset, not just that their kids aren’t allowed to play tag anymore, but also because they weren’t consulted in the school’s decision-making.

The district responded to Q13Fox with this email about their no-tag policy:

“The Mercer Island School District and school teams have recently revisited expectations for student behavior to address student safety. This means while at play, especially during recess and unstructured time, students are expected to keep their hands to themselves. The rationale behind this is to ensure the physical and emotional safety of all students.

“School staffs are working with students in the classroom to ensure that there are many alternative games available at recess and during unsupervised play, so that our kids can still have fun, be with their friends, move their bodies and give their brains a break.”

When I was a kid, during recess we could take our pick among kickball, four-square (boring), or capture the flag. Sometimes, we’d play dodge ball. Most of the time, everyone else wanted to play kickball. I wasn’t great at kicking a ball, and there was too much standing around. I could run fast though. I always loved it when we got to play capture the flag.

These days though, those types of games might emotionally traumatize students. Students won’t know how to deal with life if they happen to get tagged. They might have flashbacks of “Tag! You’re it!” running through their fragile minds.

It’s telling that the people who are for teaching kindergartners about all manners of sex acts, and handing out birth control pills and condoms to 12-year-olds, because “they’re going to do it anyway,” are the same people who want to ban tag.