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Boys and girls, come out to play.... - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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Boys and girls, come out to play.... [Oct. 18th, 2006|10:56 am]
Zoethe
[Current Mood |irritatedirritated]

NEWS HEADLINE 1: Not it! Mass. elementary school bans tag

ATTLEBORO, Mass. - Tag, you're out! Officials at an elementary school south of Boston have banned kids from playing tag, touch football and any other unsupervised chase game during recess for fear they'll get hurt and hold the school liable.

Recess is "a time when accidents can happen," said Willett Elementary School Principal Gaylene Heppe, who approved the ban.


NEWS HEADLINE 2: Elementary School Kids Increasingly Obese

Gee, do you think there is any correlation between the fact that we are so concerned about controlling every moment where kids might get hurt and the fact that they are running and playing less?

While I have serious problems with tort reform as it is currently being bandied about by insurance company lobbyists, I also believe that it's time that judges stopped extending fault to include every single time someone falls down. Kids at play get hurt sometimes. That's a fact of life. I took a few spectacular falls in grade school and ended up at the doctor's office more than once. But if when we try to take that risk out of the equation, we do so at the risk of our children.

Doctors who malpractice should not do so confident that their liability is limited - I've seen too many horror stories to believe that punitive damages should be eliminated. But people who sue school districts over broken arms from a recess mishap should be thrown out of court with a good scolding and the school district's court fees assessed to them. Because the ones putting kids at serious risk are those who would turn recess into a time to mill about quietly instead of running and playing.
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[User Picture]From: kmg_365
2006-10-18 03:00 pm (UTC)
and the school district's court fees assessed to them

That is what will really put an end to the frivolous suits.

NEWS HEADLINE 2: Elementary School Kids Increasingly Obese

I'd blame this on "television/game console as baby sitter" syndrome, too. When I was a wee lad, we would play outside after school and after dinner. We didn't plop down in front of the boob tube munching on chips and soda all day.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-10-18 03:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, that definitely contributes, and hugely. But we don't need to make it even worse.
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[User Picture]From: scarletdemon
2006-10-18 03:01 pm (UTC)
OK, that is INSANE.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-10-18 03:03 pm (UTC)
Welcome to America, land of the brave, home of the sued....
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[User Picture]From: darthfox
2006-10-18 03:04 pm (UTC)
I think I can get behind allowing parents to claim damages if they can demonstrate that the kid was hurt as a direct result of there having been insufficient supervision. But sufficient supervision stops kids from doing things that are dangerous, like fighting and running in front of moving traffic, not things like playing. (Mustn't jump rope; you might hurt your wee knees and ankles.)
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[User Picture]From: aehallh
2006-10-18 03:09 pm (UTC)
Agreed.
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[User Picture]From: wyrrlen
2006-10-18 03:16 pm (UTC)
My state's favorite Democratic would-be president, John Edwards, made a career off of exploiting the unlimited medical malpractice liability. He won, er...can't remember the amount, let's say in the ballpark of $20 million...against a doctor that we knew because the child would not survive on its own and that was the estimated cost to care for the child for 18 years. The child died after 2 years. The enitre financial judgement stood. Oh, and the independent medical board found that the doctor had acted in a manner consistent with proper care, which really doesn't matter because of insurance she can never work again.

I'm not saying liability should be nothing and that all doctors are great, but the system is broken on both sides and I'm more inclined to trust people that take the hippocratic oath than (gulp! sorry) the judgement of the legal system. My apologies for taking this a little bit off-topic.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-10-18 03:32 pm (UTC)
No, that's okay. Just having watched firsthand, from the other side, the appallingly bad medical care my sister received (which damn near killed her on a couple occasions), and knowing some doctors with incredibly arrogant attitudes, I am equally leary of handing over the reins.

Somewhere in the middle is a better system, based less on emotion and more on fact. We just don't have it.
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[User Picture]From: elfwench
2006-10-18 03:20 pm (UTC)
I remember a time (remember, I was raised in the 60's) when if I got hurt by using a toy/thing inappopriately or before I was old enough for it, I was the one who got chastised or even punished for it, even as my mother was cleaning up the damage. Same thing if I didn't use common sense about how to use a thing and got hurt by it. The lesson stuck, I learned it was my actions and decisions that caused the end result, and I didn't (usually) do a repeat performance.

Today, parents sue the manufacturer or owner. :(
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-10-18 03:33 pm (UTC)
Yup. And it's a loss, that ability to play with sharp objects that we so happily enjoyed!
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[User Picture]From: zenithgryph
2006-10-18 03:28 pm (UTC)
I find it interesting that more and more adults either cannot or do not know how to raise their children properly (here, Joey, watch more TV). Yet, the moment one thing goes "wrong" in the child's life (he skinned a knee! That's a life-threatening injury!), the substitute care-takers are the ones to blame for the child's experience.

If I have children I'm going to raise them just as I was before: usher them outdoors to play, jump and explore like little kids should.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-10-18 03:43 pm (UTC)
I just hope they can find other kids to play with....
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[User Picture]From: trianakvetch
2006-10-18 03:30 pm (UTC)
Sadly, i see this happeningh more and more because parents are afraid of getting reported to child services. In the field I work in I see so many parents incredibly paranoid when their kid is playing because they might bruise themselves. All someone has to do is take pictures of the kid and then take the parents to court. It happens a lot in foster cases. Then the parents get hit (no pun intended) for negligence.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-10-18 03:44 pm (UTC)
That sucks. It's pathetic. Grr.
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[User Picture]From: scyllacat
2006-10-18 03:43 pm (UTC)
I'd like to point out -- completely undocumented, I'm sure you're Google capable of finding things like this -- that they're finding children who do NOT run and play not only become more obese (and at risk from all the secondary complications), they may have weaker bones from not having enough weight-bearing movement!!!

I suspect we'll find other problems; there's something ironic in the fact that children's mental childhoods are short-changed by divorces, presidential blow-jobs and nuclear threats, but we have no problem in having them grow up physical (and I suspect, immunological) weaklings because it's too much risk to have them play outside.

/rant off
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-10-18 03:45 pm (UTC)
I'm not surprised by that. But it is so sad.
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[User Picture]From: sheenaqotj
2006-10-18 03:46 pm (UTC)
Ugh, yeah, that's ridiculous. I can't really add anything to what you and other folks have said already, but this pissed me off enough that I had to leave a comment.
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[User Picture]From: astridsdream
2006-10-18 06:16 pm (UTC)
I'm with you. If recess is "a time when accidents can happen", why not just ban recess altogether? Come on kids, sit in the corner and read a nice book. Everyone have their thimbles on to prevent papercuts? Good!
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[User Picture]From: darthfox
2006-10-18 04:49 pm (UTC)
Oh, bless him, I remember that part of that routine. :-)

When I was a kid, we had a nine-hundred-pound television set on a TV tray! My dad's philosophy was, "Let 'em pull it down once. They'll learn."

"Want to stick your finger in an electrical socket? ... Yeah, hurt like hell, didn't it? Don't do that no more."
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-10-18 05:01 pm (UTC)
Pretty much.
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[User Picture]From: omniguy
2006-10-18 04:38 pm (UTC)
Ye Gods this gets rediculous. It wasn't that long ago that people just chalked accidents up to... well accidents.

Here in the UK, we have "The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents". Surely, by definition, an accident is something that cannot be prevented.

If a teacher punches a kid, sue their ass. If another kid punches your kid, get them suspended or expelled. If you kid falls on his face during tag, give them a hug and maybe a plaster and send them back out there again (if they want to go).

This is one of the major reasons I quit my law course, it's all so seedy and money grabbing and false. In the end we're going to be living very boring, risk free lives with a group of lawyers constantly watching for eveyr mistake you make.

Oh yeah... we've got that. And they're lawyers who call themsevles politicians.

Damn!
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[User Picture]From: kimberkid
2006-10-18 07:47 pm (UTC)

Your mention of the definiton of accident reminds me...

of one of my recent Nursing classes.

We were talking about health concerns related to various stages of development (SIDs for infants, heart disease for middle agers, malnutrition for the elderly) and an interesting thing was brought up.

For children and adolescents, the medical profession is moving away from the term "accident prevention" towards "reducing unintentional injuries" (keeping your water heater to under 120 degrees F, for example) based on the notion than an accident *is* purely unpredictable and unpreventable.

Not really important, just felt like sharing lol...

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[User Picture]From: donkey_hokey
2006-10-18 04:44 pm (UTC)
Add in the fact that kids will have no outlet for their excessive energy, except maybe in class, and the percentage of drugged kids will go up dramatically.

Fat, drugged/sedated, physically unskilled kids. Hm. And this is supposed to be the generation taking care of me when I retire? *shudder*

(There may also be some other issues involved, such as kids that don't get to play tag will have *pout*sob* self-esteem issues *wah*. I might be off-base on this though.)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-10-18 05:02 pm (UTC)
I was awful at tag as a kid. I survived. But I bet that is part of it.
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[User Picture]From: hugh_mannity
2006-10-18 04:45 pm (UTC)
For many kids recess is the only opportunity they have to run around outside.

An increasing number of kids are in after school programs because they are in either a 2-working parent family or a single parent family.

Add that to the irrational and media-fostered fear many parents in safe neighborhoods have of their little darlings being kidnapped, or the reality of some of the unsafe neighborhoods and when the kids finally do get home, they aren't allowed to just go outside and play.

The predator fear leads many parents to either make their kids take the bus or pick them up from school, so they don't get even the minimal exercise of a walk.

Personally I think that if the kids get out at recess and run around like mad things playing tag or whatever, when they get back in the classroom they're better set to sit still and listen. Lack of adequate physical activity makes them fidget which prevents them learning and disrupts the class as well.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-10-18 05:03 pm (UTC)
Well, if they have extra energy, we'll just drug 'em up!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2006-10-18 05:03 pm (UTC)
It's a huge problem; I just hate to see another brick in the wall.
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