Home » Opinion » Editorials
Ban dodgeball? Why not ban boys?
Ten days ago the board voted 4-1 to ban dodgeball from Windham schools. The board had the support of the administration. It is a "human target" game, the board said. It can cause concussions. It can make kids feel bad. It must be eradicated.
Windham children would be better protected if the voters would elect wiser school board members.
Dodgeball games at Windham public schools involved Nerf balls. Who gets a concussion from a Nerf ball? Football players get concussions. Hockey players get concussions. Both of those sports produce many times more concussions than Nerf-armed dodgeball players do. Yet football and hockey (in collaboration with Pelham High) will continue to be played at Windham High School. The concussion claim was a ruse.
The real reason was to reduce violent play that can lead to bullying. As Dennis Senibaldi, the lone dissenter on the school board, said, "If someone is being bullied, there are ways to address that. We have anti-bullying policies."
That leaves violent play. Michael Thompson, a psychologist and co-author of "Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys" said in an interview with the LiveScience website a few years ago, "There is no such thing as violent play. Violence and aggression are intended to hurt somebody. Play is not intended to hurt somebody. Play, rougher in its themes and rougher physically, is a feature of boyhood in every society on Earth."
As Thompson noted, boys are hardwired for dominance and aggression. Playground activities that let them channel those traits into competitive games, rather than actual fighting, do not create violent children; they provide non-violent outlets for boys' natural tendencies. Banning dodgeball does zip to protect kids. All it does is remove from school a safe outlet for boys' naturally dominant and competitive tendencies. That is, it harms boys. The school board should reverse its decision at once.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Etz Hayim Synagogue continues free talks series - 0
- 'Moving vigils' to bring faith to repeal of NH death penalty - 0
- Pope Francis' 1st year: No revoluton, but hope for change - 1
- World Day of Prayer is on Friday - 0
- Bishop Libasci declares Holy Family Academy a Catholic school - 0
- New Hampshire Religion News in Brief - 0
- Clergy to take Ash Wednesday to the streets today in Concord - 0
- Roman Catholic Bishop Libasci offers his message for Lent - 0
- ‘Son of God’ attracting the faithful and movie-lovers in NH - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Sens. Shaheen, Ayotte slam latest push for online sales tax - 0
- Bedford girls basketball team spreads the scoring wealth - 0
- New Hampshire high school athletes on the run (and jumping) in NYC - 0
- Ian Clark's High School Hockey: Teams anxious to play - 0
- Manchester Mayor Gatsas: Vote tells me Hooksett is satisfied with Manchester schools - 0
- After Pinkerton rejection, what's next for Hooksett students? - 0
- Nashua aldermen approve pair of union contracts - 0
- Was a crime committed? Nashua police are not certain - 0
- Nashua must decide on parkway project's bridge aesthetics - 0
SCORE workshop offers social media tips
Minimum wages: Maximum spin
Hooksett votes down Pinkerton schools deal
Hooksett has five new school board members
A CIA bombshell: Feinstein and the Fourth