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
- Pembroke Academy wants to help at-risk students - 0
- From Russia, with love of numbers at Nashua school - 0
- Great Bay Community College 'boot camp' trains students in precision manufacturing - 0
- Cyber defense competition coming to University of New Hampshire - 0
- Dartmouth College mourns sudden death of student - 0
- Ham radio introduction and class - 0
- At FIRST, it's all about learning and helping each other - 0
- Pinkerton Academy tops Hanover High in 'Granite State Challenge' - 0
- Manchester Central High’s John Rist, back in charge, wipes slate clean for some - 1
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Manchester man who defrauded banks in mortgage foreclosure scheme gets 6 years - 0
- March storm brings accumulation mystery, maybe misery - 0
- Manchester’s Slebodnick stars in Cornell’s title win - 0
- NHIAA Girls’ Div. I final four offers intriguing matchups - 0
- Goffstown voters have lots to consider with schools - 0
- With snow budget depleted, Nashua dips into trust fund - 0
- Manchester CrimeWatch: Graffiti charge keeps teen’s bail from changing - 0
- Police union contract a top concern for Bedford voters - 0
- Proposed school budget creates stir in Allenstown - 0
Taken for a ride: Hooksett’s Pinkerton deal
Manchester schools project budget surplus
Dover man found not guilty of sex assault but convicted of drugging three women in Portsmouth