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Postby Dowaco » Wed Oct 18, 2006 8:48 am

Not it! Mass. elementary school bans tag - Yahoo! News

Schools have started to ban tag-you're-it because...
Recess is a dangerous time because that is when accidents happen.

Society is going downhill faster than I though possible.

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Postby dragon wench » Wed Oct 18, 2006 9:00 am

:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Okay, I suppose I am glad to hear that this kind of idiocy is not just happening at my son's school... There they actually removed the tire swing from the playground because they thought it would lead to injuries... and chasing games are strongly discouraged.
IMO this is entirely ridiculous...
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Postby Magrus » Wed Oct 18, 2006 9:28 am

Completely ridiculous. I was kicked out of school for getting jumped regularly by jock bullies. Why? I was very, very good at defending myself and the other kids weren't. It was easier to expel one student who was constantly in trouble, rather than the 50 students who were on the football, hockey and baseball teams who were the initiators. Running school districts around here is generally done in the hopes of progressing into politics and having a "I looked out for the welfare of the children!" line to toss on your resume. The people doing so really don't care what happens, so long as it makes the school and them look better, with the least changes and cost involved.

I am assuming this is a step in the direction of curbing violence in teens and lawsuits for when children get hurt. What school officials need to do is supervise children, and stomp down hard on the children who act in a dangerous manner. I hate to bring up the Columbine shootings and such, as they've been beaten to death, yet that happened just two weeks before I got tossed out and had to do directly with my being tossed out. Not to mention others who were targeted in my school and harrassed who were tossed out as well. When people act out in a violent manner and cause pain and destruction around them, generally there is a definitive motive and reason behind it. I didn't randomly pick kids to beat them unconscious and those kids in Columbine didn't just randomly "snap" and start shooting at people. There were steps involved in both situations that led to such violent reactions. Steps which, if the staff at the school and parents of the kids causing the initial troubles had dealt with them better would have avoided the messy end results.

Schools don't do what they need to do with "trouble" children. Namely, focus on the ones causing the trouble, and protect the ones in danger. No, they focus on the smaller number of students in the midst of it, in order to protect their reputations on the higher levels of the districts staff. Detention and suspension just do not work with most "troublemakers". They do not want to be in school anyhow. Sending them to a room where they are forced to sit there and do nothing, or to send them home won't matter to them. Alternatives need to be devised in order to instill a sense of maturity with young people who cause trouble, for whatever reasons they want.

Taking away games that are possibly dangerous will not help this. I got hurt a lot growing up, as I was unsupervised the majority of the time. You know what? I am in general very careful of what I do and do not do now because of that. I know if I run around on ice, I will fall and either break something or bleed all over. I know if I try to jump my bike off of a large hill with trees all around the bottom of the hill, I will likely hurt myself very, very badly. Dodgeball with young children won't truly hurt someone unless some freak accident occurs. Why? In general a child cannot grasp the big rubber ball well enough, or throw it well enough to truly hurt someone. True, it make shock the kid and sting for a while, but not break something. :rolleyes:

Generally, when kids are playing together they will end up terribly excited and lose track of their own or others safety in the midst of their games. They will run into each other, fall over, and accidents will happen. No matter what you do. If you ban the activities that allow kids to go a bit crazy and burn off all of the energy they have altogether, they will not be able to sit still and focus on their school work. Those teachers are going to end up dealing with kids that look like they have been popping speed half of the time they have them in their classrooms. Then you will have one kid jumping around and the whole class will follow suit, in the middle of learning how to write the alphabet or learning how to do their multiplication tables or whatever.

Why don't they request an extra $1.2 million in order to furnish the students with helmets and knee pads for school. Just in case, you know, someone spills their chocolate milk and a students falls.
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Postby VonDondu » Wed Oct 18, 2006 11:29 am

I used to think that school officials didn't do enough to protect children from other children, and I wondered what it would take to make them change their attitude. Now the answer is obvious: lawsuits. In some ways, lawsuits really are out of control, and it's not surprising that they affect people's behavior. In a way, that's the whole point. Lawsuits "send a message", and people listen if they're smart. One way to look at thse new developments in schools is that school officials are doing these things not to protect the children, but to protect themselves. Watch what happens when we get some "tort reform". I'm sure we'll go back to business as usual. It's a pendulum.

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Postby Lady Dragonfly » Wed Oct 18, 2006 11:33 am

What do you expect? This is the liability issue. It is easier to prevent things from happening than have staggering lawsuits on the hands later; the chosen methods sometimes are desperate, but what do you expect from the underfunded, understaffed and over-stressed school system?
There is no money for a lot of things. We have to pay for our Holy War on Terror on top of everything else, remember? Since when the education and children welfare became the priority for the government? :rolleyes:

Plus it is easier and cheaper for the bureocracy to kick out one-two "rebels" than address the whole issue strategically and admit their own incompetence. It is everywhere, man, not only in schools.

I think to place the blame for everything on schools is wrong. I would blame the parents first.
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Postby beornica » Wed Oct 18, 2006 11:43 am

Jeez. Only America. :rolleyes:
you know what they say about all work and no play...
It's totally not worth the monetary rewards!!!

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Postby Dowaco » Wed Oct 18, 2006 12:21 pm

What I don't understand about lawsuits is why do juries award any money for frivolous claims. Your 6 year old gets hurt playing tag at school and you sue the Board of Ed. Stupid, but how can you expect a set of 12 jurors to say you deserve $1,000,000? Yet it happens all the time.

I fear we are raising a generation of overprotected kids who will whine their whole lives instead of taking charge of situations. The other outcome is that when they rebel in their teens (and it will happen) they will swing the pendulum so far the other way that violence will become normal.

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Postby Lady Dragonfly » Wed Oct 18, 2006 12:31 pm

Dowaco wrote:What I don't understand about lawsuits is why do juries award any money for frivolous claims. Your 6 year old gets hurt playing tag at school and you sue the Board of Ed. Stupid, but how can you expect a set of 12 jurors to say you deserve $1,000,000? Yet it happens all the time.

I fear we are raising a generation of overprotected kids who will whine their whole lives instead of taking charge of situations. The other outcome is that when they rebel in their teens (and it will happen) they will swing the pendulum so far the other way that violence will become normal.


Teens will rebel no matter what, no valid justification is required. That is the hormons thing.
Not all lawsuits are automatically won. And assuming most of them are, the measures to prevent all this mess become more than prudent IMO.

P.S. I am glad I am not dealing with school bureaocracy any more. God knows I had my share.
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Postby dragon wench » Wed Oct 18, 2006 12:33 pm

beornica wrote:Jeez. Only America. :rolleyes:


Nope, it are not just Americans whom are being victimised (feel better? :D ), we have been experiencing a move toward this sort of thing at our son's school, and we are North of the border.

It's truly stupid.. and there also seems to be a seriously misplaced set of priorities at work. For example, I am quite absent-minded, and if our son is sick or has to miss school for some reason I usually forget to call.
Last time this happened, he was off for an entire week, and I neglected to contact the school that whole time. They did not phone once to find out where he was... :rolleyes:

What would happen if a child were abducted on their way to school? Chances are nobody would realise s/he was missing until the late afternoon/early evening... and it has been generally acknowledged that in such cases.. time is of the essence..

Go figure... :rolleyes:
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Postby Vicsun » Wed Oct 18, 2006 1:27 pm

Great, now children will grow up to be fat, complacent, fragile adults with little sense of self-preservation. I'll be submitting a plan to a local school - all children shall be enclosed by pink goo (it has to be pink in order to give them a happier, healthier perspective on life) for eighteen years so we can safeguard them against the evils of this world. Evils like bullies, child predators, a spine, or individuality. It's clear that only those who wish evil upon our children would oppose my fine suggestion. I mean would you leave your child at the mercy of evil, souless child-molesting sex offenders which roam every corner? I would certainly hope not! < :mad: >
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:(

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Postby Sean The Owner » Wed Oct 18, 2006 3:35 pm

why dont we put sponge on the wall too? or better yet, create a sponge that is impossible to have someone choke on it, or suffocate by staying against for a while? its just stupid if your kid can WILLINGLY play tag, TAKE the chance to get hurt, and DOES get hurt...and GET money out of it? well why dont we all just go play a game, get ourselves hurt and get money and never have to do anything again? taking away tag just makes everyone that much lazier, even the overweight people played tag with us in elementary school, just because it was fun, and we didnt exclude anyone...and besides its something you dont have to be good at, you wont get made fun of if you get tagged, if you suck at basketball or hockey, you DO get made fun of...the teachers might notice that suddenly, no one wants to go out for recess, no one wants to participate in gym class...and no one wants to do ANYTHING at all, youll also notice the average weight in america will up probably 50lbs!(which i think is about 22kg for the people using that system) i played tag before, and yes, i did get hurt, but you know what? i didnt sue the school board, neither did my parents, i sucked it up and took responsibility as i did play knowing i could be hurt.

@DW
i agree with the attendance thing, at my school they always did call home in the morning if you werent there, which as annoying as it is when youre skipping it is definetly the safe thing to do and in elementary school if you disappear between the beginning and end of school they called as soon as they found out you werent there.

@ Lady Dragonfly "I think to place the blame for everything on schools is wrong. I would blame the parents first."

dont blame the parents or the school, blame the kids who were playing tag, its their fault if they get hurt and they know that. by putting the blame on a bystander would just make the world create itself around the kids and teach them that they cant get in trouble even when they try.

@ VonDondu
sure, lawsuits give a message out, and they definetly are out of control, but seriously...soon enough they may as well just give up on school, id say let them do schooling over the internet, but that might hurt their eyes, and cause MORE lawsuits...lawsuits send messages, but only get more back at them...

and finally, no matter what you do, accidents happen, people get hurt, but when they get better im SURE they go back to doing what they were doing before they got hurt
:eek:

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Postby VonDondu » Wed Oct 18, 2006 4:46 pm

Dowaco wrote:Your 6 year old gets hurt playing tag at school and you sue the Board of Ed. Stupid, but how can you expect a set of 12 jurors to say you deserve $1,000,000? Yet it happens all the time.

Do you have any statistics to substantiate that claim? Here in Texas, the limit on damages is a lot less than that (wrongful deaths are limited to $250,000), and I don't recall any lawsuits in my local school district (it's a big one) in the past year for playground injuries. So I'm just curious.

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Postby dragon wench » Wed Oct 18, 2006 5:59 pm

I feel a lot of this involves willingness to accept personal responsibility for one's actions.
For example, Little Johny has (hopefully) been taught that swinging wildly to great heights *is* dangerous. So, if little Johny still proceeds to swing away, knowing all he does, then he does so fully aware he could fall.
I realise the school is responsible for the safety of their students, but I really do believe it is far better to instruct awareness and responsibility rather than issuing a flat decree against said activities. This would make kids more conscious of links between cause and effect rather than being prone to blaming somebody else for the mistakes they've actually put into motion. And IMO, maybe they'd even grow up and manage to avoid the temptation of suing McDonald's because they were stupid enough to spill hot coffee into their own laps while driving. :rolleyes:
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Postby Chimaera182 » Wed Oct 18, 2006 5:59 pm

Oh lord... It's funny; when I got online, a friend of mine told me he was reading the news. Five minutes later (and before I'd gotten on here) he tells me about this very thing. We have a light-hearted discussion which led to much sarcasm, and now, here we are. The most ridiculous news items get around. :laugh:

Okay, let me just follow that preface with this preface: this is the most asinine piece of crud in the history of ever. In fact, if I hadn't discussed this with my friend before seeing this, I might have initially thought it was a farce. However, considering my already-low opinion of people in general, I would believe a farce over reality anyway, so I would have believed this. The fact that it is genuinely true really makes it all the worse.

Children have accidents. They get boo-boos, scraped knees, bumps on the head, broken limbs, scratches. Why? THEY ARE CHILDREN! Children roughhouse, have fun, play rough, and they're going to get hurt; in fact, part of being a child is that you do have these accidents. But now we're going to start safeguarding them from actually living? What idiot(s) came up with this completely comical idea? Children are going to get bruised, but they'll get up and be fine; you can't protect them all the time, and trying to shield them is going to do even more damage. I wish I was a parent, just so I could claim my child's favorite game had been banned and it caused him psychological trauma, and I would threaten to sue on that basis (not that that would fly, but it's the kind of irrational thinking that's led to this ban anyway).

The fact that they just don't want to be held liable makes it all the worse, seeing how that is just symptomatic of the greater problem in the world (not just America). Life's about taking risks; if they're going to want to not be held liable, they should rather send out some kind of waiver for parents to sign, absolving them of any guilt if their children are harmed during recess or game-play (isn't recess being cancelled in schools, now, anyway? God, what is the world coming to?). It makes one wish for simpler times, when suing people wasn't the norm.

VonDondu wrote:I used to think that school officials didn't do enough to protect children from other children, and I wondered what it would take to make them change their attitude. Now the answer is obvious: lawsuits. In some ways, lawsuits really are out of control, and it's not surprising that they affect people's behavior. In a way, that's the whole point. Lawsuits "send a message", and people listen if they're smart. One way to look at thse new developments in schools is that school officials are doing these things not to protect the children, but to protect themselves. Watch what happens when we get some "tort reform". I'm sure we'll go back to business as usual. It's a pendulum.

That's the funny thing, isn't it? We always think people are either not doing enough or doing too much (although I suppose it could be argued by really over-protective parents that how could one over-do it when protecting children is concerned? :rolleyes: ). But I agree completely; lawsuits are definitely out of control, so the fact that it can impact everyday-life is not at all surprising. It's really sad. Hopefully, when I have kids, this ridiculousness will be behind us, and my children will come home with scraped knees from a rough little bit of tag.

Dowaco wrote:I fear we are raising a generation of overprotected kids who will whine their whole lives instead of taking charge of situations. The other outcome is that when they rebel in their teens (and it will happen) they will swing the pendulum so far the other way that violence will become normal.

Oh, we are already there. I listen to people whine and complain a lot already; if anything, my generation is probably the one where the kids grow into adults who whine their whole lives. The idea that this can possibly get worse, though, is both sickening and frightening.
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Postby Dowaco » Wed Oct 18, 2006 6:12 pm

VonDondu wrote:Do you have any statistics to substantiate that claim? Here in Texas, the limit on damages is a lot less than that (wrongful deaths are limited to $250,000), and I don't recall any lawsuits in my local school district (it's a big one) in the past year for playground injuries. So I'm just curious.


No, it was simply hyperbole. But if lawsuits are indeed capped, then why fear a large suit that will ruin the school district? The excuse that liability is the motivation behind this falls short if there is no precedence. Kids might suffer a nose bleed, broken bone, concussion or black eye, but death seems very unlikely.

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Postby Sean The Owner » Wed Oct 18, 2006 6:23 pm

Chimaera182 wrote:
Children have accidents. They get boo-boos, scraped knees, bumps on the head, broken limbs, scratches. Why? THEY ARE CHILDREN! Children roughhouse, have fun, play rough, and they're going to get hurt; in fact, part of being a child is that you do have these accidents. But now we're going to start safeguarding them from actually living? What idiot(s) came up with this completely comical idea? Children are going to get bruised, but they'll get up and be fine; you can't protect them all the time, and trying to shield them is going to do even more damage. I wish I was a parent, just so I could claim my child's favorite game had been banned and it caused him psychological trauma, and I would threaten to sue on that basis (not that that would fly, but it's the kind of irrational thinking that's led to this ban anyway).

The fact that they just don't want to be held liable makes it all the worse, seeing how that is just symptomatic of the greater problem in the world (not just America). Life's about taking risks; if they're going to want to not be held liable, they should rather send out some kind of waiver for parents to sign, absolving them of any guilt if their children are harmed during recess or game-play (isn't recess being cancelled in schools, now, anyway? God, what is the world coming to?). It makes one wish for simpler times, when suing people wasn't the norm.


@the first paragraph...EXACTLY! its how everyone else grew up what makes these kids so vulnerable?

@the second paragraph...you're kidding about the recess being taken away...right? and if you arent, is it because of kids getting hurt?
:eek:

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Postby VonDondu » Wed Oct 18, 2006 7:05 pm

dragon wench wrote:And IMO, maybe they'd even grow up and manage to avoid the temptation of suing McDonald's because they were stupid enough to spill hot coffee into their own laps while driving. :rolleyes:

I feel the same way about the government trying to slap a multi-million dollar fine on a video game manufacturer and effectively putting them out of business because some hacker made a stupid "Hot Coffee" Mod. :) How much different is that?

By the way, how familiar are you with the McDonalds scalding coffee case? I agree with the findings of groups such as MythBusters, and I don't think that lawsuit was frivolous at all. It is often exaggerated and distorted by people seeking to disparage personal injury lawsuits when they don't really know what they're talking about (or they're deliberately lying about it).

If you received third-degree burns over 16% percent of your body (including your genital region) because of a company policy that dictated that a beverage should be served at 190 degrees when the company knew full well that it was unfit for human consumption at that temperature AND had known for ten years that it could cause third degree burns to the genital region and other parts of the body at that temperature AND knew that hundreds of people had already received similar injuries to their genital regions and other parts of their bodies, you might be inclined to ask them to cover your medical expenses for $20,000. You might even take them to court if they refused to agree to a paltry settlement like that and fought you every step of the way. Do you think McDonalds's business practices were acceptable? If they were unacceptable, what would it take to make them change? Telling them that people were suffering serious injuries on a regular basis certainly didn't help. They had no incentive to change. It looks like a lawsuit was the only thing that could get their attention. Do you think it was only about the money? It might look like it was all about the money, but that's how our system works. They're called "economic incentives", and as any economist would tell you, they apply to all facets of life. Some economists would tell you it's because we have "reptilian brains". I think there's a lot of truth to that. But anyway, I don't see why the 79-year-old woman who was severely injured looks like the bad guy this case. How do you think it makes McDonalds look?

Every time I think about the motives of big business (especially McDonalds), I'm reminded of this:
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Postby dragon wench » Wed Oct 18, 2006 8:19 pm

@Von Dondu,
I appreciate what you are saying, and I'm honestly no defender of McDonald's or any other big business. In that particular case, however [SIZE="1"](which I am very familiar with because I was required at one point to do some research into it),[/size] I do feel that fault is with the woman in question.
She was in a car, and there was no flat surface upon which to place or open the coffee. Why put hot coffee *anywhere* near the vicinity of the genital area in a situation like that? Maybe I'm callous and harsh in this instance, but to me that is simply stupid.
But, as Voltaire once so succinctly phrased it, "Common sense is not so common."

That's my POV anyway.
I'd say the same for a mountaineer who injures themselves while rappelling down a cliff face, and then sues the management of whatever wilderness park they are in.
If you place yourself in a potentially hazardous situation you should be willing to accept the consequences for whatever happens.

A number of other similar cases against Mc D's I can see though.. like employees spilling the stuff through windows, on kids etc. That is different.



If somebody else is at fault, then clearly they should be held responsible.
For example, if faulty construction and poor ventilation cause a mine shaft to collapse then the mining company is to blame, and should be charged with negligent homicide; the miners are not at fault.


Or, admittedly, maybe I'm also coming at this from the perspective of being a parent. We've spent a lot of timing instilling into our son that he responsible for his own actions and that there is a direct link between cause and effect. :)
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Postby VonDondu » Thu Oct 19, 2006 12:04 am

dragon wench wrote:@VonDondu,
I appreciate what you are saying, and I'm honestly no defender of McDonald's or any other big business. In that particular case, however [SIZE="1"](which I am very familiar with because I was required at one point to do some research into it),[/size] I do feel that fault is with the woman in question.

It was a dangerous situation that could have been avoided in several different ways, but I don't think any reasonable person could find the injured woman to be 100% responsible. I realize that not everyone thinks like an economist, but these things can be sorted out at trial. In this case, the injured woman was found to be 20% responsible, so McDonalds was not held entirely responsible. We could disagree about the percentages, but I think a sharing of responsibility and a corresponding damage award is fair. That's what we should teach kids instead of teaching them to play an all-or-nothing "you did it/no you did it" blame game. Everyone needs to accept their share of responsibility. My POV, of course.


dragon wench wrote:She was in a car, and there was no flat surface upon which to place or open the coffee. Why put hot coffee *anywhere* near the vicinity of the genital area in a situation like that? Maybe I'm callous and harsh in this instance, but to me that is simply stupid.
But, as Voltaire once so succinctly phrased it, "Common sense is not so common."

There's really no good way to carry drinks in a car, so I think it's stupid to buy drinks at a drive-thru. By the same token, why would any sensible, responsible person sell 190 degree coffee through a drive-thru window? Why not sell it at 158 degrees, or 130 degrees? Is that asking too much to ensure people's safety? Anyone with common sense knows that 1) coffee is not suitable for human consumption at 190 degrees, 2) it's hot enough to cause third degree burns if someone spills it on themselves, and 3) it is inevitable that people will spill it in their laps because that's what happens when people carry beverages in their cars. What sort of defense is this: "You shouldn't buy hot coffee through a drive-thru window, but since you'll do it anyway, we'll be glad to sell you 190 degree coffee through a drive-thru window." If you know that using a lawnmower to trim the hedges will result in serious or fatal injuries, why would you sell a lawnmower to someone when you know that's exactly what they plan to do with it? How can you say, "I have no part in the chain of responsibility"?

When a company knows that hundreds of people have suffered serious injuries as a direct result of the company's policies, they need to stop what they're doing, and they should be held accountable for their reckless disregard for human safety if they keep doing it anyway. My POV, of course.

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Postby dragon wench » Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:07 am

@Von Dondu,
it is late, and I only logged in briefly to check a couple of forums, so hopefully I'll be able to reply more fully in the morning. But one thing that occurs to me is we are literally looking at this from very different places. What I mean is that the issue of tort reform, or not, does not have the same resonance in Canada, for a whole number of reasons.
So, I suppose it isn't the same hot button issue (pun not intended)...which means I'm looking at just the incident itself rather than the wide ranging implications surrounding it.

Just a thought anyway :)
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