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Rules Kids not learning in School


"At Mascoutah Middle School in Illinois, 13-year-old Megan Coulter was recently given detention for hugging two friends goodbye before the week­end-a violation of the school's ban on 'public displays of affection.' One California school district worried about 'bullying, violence, self-esteem and lawsuits' also banned tag, cops and robbers, touch football and every other activity that involved 'bodily contact.' In some schools, free play has been replaced by organized relay races and adult-supervised activities, in order to protect children from spontaneous outbreaks of creativity. This makes sense to the sort of person who thinks children must at all costs be protected from the scrapes of life and insulated from the prospect of having to deal with social interactions or disappointment. We're already paying the price for epidemic of over protectiveness. Congress has appropriated more than $600 million to encourage kids to walk or bike to school. An entire generation of kids now rides in minivans to schools where they aren't allowed to chase one another, swing on swings or play dodge ball. And we wonder why we have an obesity problem."


Sykes C. Wall Street Journal. November 18, 2007
Sykes is the author, most recently, of 50 Rules Kids Won't Learn in School. St. Martins, 2007