Not “it”. Schools Ban Tag

Is tag really bad? TV stations, newspapers and website blogs across
the country picked up on the elementary schools across the nation that
admitted to banning tag. Most responses considered tag harmless.

As a former elementary school principal, I can relate to the “banning”epidemic. When my office filled with 10 kids on discipline issues before school started each morning I too banned before school recess. But I quickly learned that the decision was a poor one. Too often we resort to extremes in times of frustration. The real problem was untrained playground supervisors, lack of playground rules, a few children arriving before supervisors were assigned and not enough organized activities for children to play, etc.

Some helpful hints to improving your playground - Make sure students have enough activity choices and equipment to participate in games. It helps to be proactive and communicate both playground rules and rationale to the community at the beginning of the school year. Reactive responses are sometimes necessary but put us on the defense.

Finally, the issue is not so much” is tag bad”, as “is your playground good”? Schools that devote time to improving their playground reap many rewards including: fewer playground conflicts, decrease in bullying, fewer injuries and more active children.

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