In a letter issued on Monday, students at Earl Beatty Jr. and Sr. Public School in Toronto will no longer be allowed to bring or play with any kind of hard ball at school—including soccer balls, footballs, volleyballs and tennis balls. According to the letter, “Any balls brought will be confiscated and may be retrieved by parents from the office. The only kind of ball allowed will be Nerf balls or sponge balls.”
The ban was introduced as a preventative measure. According to the CTV report, there had been “some serious incidents where students, staff or parents were hit, or nearly hit, by a hard ball on school property.”
Wait a minute. What?
This story brought to mind the time that I watched a parent bring her child to the park and strap a helmet on him before sending him down the slide. In that moment, I wondered if we are not going just a wee bit too far to protect our children. This ban on balls in school yards has me wondering the same. Is this the smartest decision? Accidents are unfortunate, there’s really no question there. But when we as parents worry so much about prying our young children away from their game consoles and television sets, and we try so hard to encourage an active lifestyle and push our kids to play outside, is it wise to take away their tools? Isn’t there a better way?
What do you think? Is there a better way to help prevent schoolyard injuries, or do you think this was a smart decision?
—Ali, senior associate editor of CF.ca