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
- Gail Fisher's Dog Tracks: Before your dog takes a dip in fresh water, learn about toxic algae risks - 0
- Another View -- Yehuda Yaakov: What Israel is up against - 6
- Another View -- Betsy McCaughey: Scaremongering is the left's hobby - 2
- Another View -- Steve Stanek: Impact fees for new homes actually raise property taxes - 6
- John Stossel: Who will build the roads? - 0
- Jonah Goldberg: Attacking Israel with the big lie -- genocide - 1
- Pat Buchanan: Balkanization beckons - 2
- Charles Arlinghaus: The same stuff sells in politics as everywhere - 3
- Another View -- Virginia Postrel: Speech rules turn colleges into no-thought zones - 4
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Business economists say sales, hiring and pay are up - 0
- Market Basket customers gather in Portsmouth to support workers - 0
- AG: Missing Conway teen Abigail Hernandez reunited with family - 10
- Market Basket workers rally, urged to 'shut it down' until ousted CEO returns - 1
- Man arrested after shots allegedly fired in Mont Vernon - 0
- Rochester gas station robbed; Police: Could be one in string - 0
- Maine man hurt in ATV accident in northern NH - 0
- Katie McQuaid's Scene In Manchester: Tracking street crime is her game - 0
- Shaheen's record: On insurance, it is dismal - 11
DWI License Revocations
Shaheen's record: On insurance, it is dismal
Anti-SUV flop: Americans love utility
Market Basket workers urged to 'shut it down'; deposed CEO urges fired workers be given jobs back