Is child safety being taken too far?

Toronto Catholic elementary school bans the game 'tag'

A beloved childhood game played by youngsters throughout many decades has been thrown out the window by a Toronto school.

The words, “tag, you’re it!” may never again be heard on the playground of St. Luke Catholic Elementary School after it banned all types of tag games involving physical contact because of roughhousing.

This comes after the school noticed a spike in the number of children getting scrapes, bruises, and in one case a fractured bone.

It’s not the first time a school has sought to ban a rough game. Many young adults remember when red rover, a game in which two teams link arms across from one another and ‘call over’ an opponent to try and break the link, was banned in many Ontario schools in the 1990s.

This announcement from the school has brought only scrutiny and anger both from parents and bystanders.

“This is like building a playground with brand new equipment and then banning the children from using it because they ‘might’ get hurt,” said Zika Petrovic, whose two children attend the school.

“Kids will be kids. They will make mistakes, and they will get hurt, but this is how they’re suppose to learn. What’s next?”

John W. Yan from the Toronto Catholic School Board clarified the rule, saying it is only full contact tag that has been banned, but normal tag is allowed.

St. Luke’s is requesting a representative of Toronto Public Health to attend the school to advise teachers about options for activities that are not potentially dangerous.

This is part of the initiative, Physical Activity Leaders in Schools, is a playground leadership program that encourages children to be active at recess. A Toronto Public Health adviser will train teachers about playground safety strategies, lessons that they will pass on to students.