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
- David Harsanyi: The senators who really threaten America - 1
- Your Turn, NH -- Ted Menswar Jr.: How Manchester pulled together to honor one of its greats - 1
- Jonah Goldberg: Is the Islamic State really un-Islamic? - 1
- George Will: Scotland's epic vote - 1
- Charles Krauthammer: Obama's uncertain trumpet, again - 0
- Maureen McDonald: Ray Rice and the everyday problem of domestic violence - 1
- Another View -- Jason Bedrick: An important court victory for parents and taxpayers - 3
- Thomas Sowell: Mob rule economics is bad for everyone - 8
- George Will: Eviscerating the 1st Amendment is extremism - 5
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Pair accused in Hampstead home invasion also face witness tampering charges - 0
- Gunman hits Circle K convenience store in Durham - 0
- Suicide car bomber kills 3 foreign troops in Afghan capital; Taliban claims responsibility - 0
- City officials to review proposed 'spice' ban - 0
- Widow of chiropractor killed this summer says fatal shooting was no accident - 0
- Manchester's Delana Curtis is left out in the cold - 0
- Another View -- Sharon Day: The Democrats' claim to be the party for women is just not believable - 3
- Dave D'Onofrio's Patriots Notebook: Brady a realist - 0
- Burning rubber: And public dollars - 0
Mexican man pleads guilty in international conspiracy to traffic hundreds of pounds of cocaine
DWI license revocations
Another View -- Sharon Day: The Democrats' claim to be the party for women is just not believable
Strategery: A war by any other name
Freeh dumb: Favoritism in Vt.?