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Random Blog Journey-2-Peace: Dodgeball for an A+

    Trish Monaco.
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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Dodgeball for an A+

I remember those childhood playground games I enjoyed during recess in elementary school. Kickball, jumprope, hopscotch, boxball (four-square).

I also remember one other schoolyard game that I refused to participate in because of it's vile and violent nature: DODGEBALL.

So today, I was picking up one of my dogs who lives across the street from a public elementary school playground.

Kids were screaming and laughing as usual. This time, instead of scattered groups of various activities throughout the playground, there was one group of about thirty kids huddled in one area.

It took me only a moment to realize they were playing (you guessed it) dodgeball.

I was slightly stunned. These kids were pelting the shit out of each other with those big rubber playground balls. You know the ones. ouch!

I considered taking a walk across the street to ask the kids to treat each other nicer when I realized there was an adult in the center of the crowd, cheering and refereeing.

That's when it occurred to me that this was a physical education class! (with one lazy-ass gym teacher)

Since when did this dreadful schoolyard torture-activity become part of the core curriculum in elementary school?

I watched in horror.

SPLAT!

A b-line pitch to a child's face drew cheers from half the circle.

Granted, the pitcher's team didn't gain any points for a hit above the shoulders but hello, it doesn't stop them from aiming high.

Who cares about points when you can impale a classmate and get praised for creating an actual bruise? Now that's a team sport!

Aren't these the same kids we are trying to teach peace and tolerance? Aren't we concerned about them acting out their rage on other classmates?

What's the difference between dodgeball and a punch? I guess in this case, a punch may get them detention. Dodgeball gets them promoted.

Ironically, TAG is banned from schoolyards because of its "potentially violent outcome."


I don't get it. But I will be sending a letter to that city's school district. One of the top districts around. People move from all over so their kids can go to those schools.

And I know it's not the only school with dodgeball on the syllabus. Surprisingly (to me anyway) I know of an elite private high school whose students are expected to participate in dodgeball during phys. ed.

Am I missing something? Am I the only one who thinks this is whacked?

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