Education

Folsom elementary school bans tag games after students got too rough

Kids at John Holst Elementary School play a game in which a student playing a salmon tries to make it downstream to the ocean without being eaten (tagged) by a predator, played by fellow students, Friday, October 10, 2003, at the American River Salmon Festival’s “Schools Day,” at Lake Natoma.
Kids at John Holst Elementary School play a game in which a student playing a salmon tries to make it downstream to the ocean without being eaten (tagged) by a predator, played by fellow students, Friday, October 10, 2003, at the American River Salmon Festival’s “Schools Day,” at Lake Natoma. Sacramento Bee Staff Photo

At one Folsom school, the age-old schoolyard game of “tag, you’re it” has been replaced with the principal’s order that “tag is out.”

Physical contact, including tag games and touch football, were recently prohibited from the schoolyard at Gold Ridge Elementary after school staff raised concerns that some fourth and fifth graders were getting too rough during recess. There was pushing, altercations and injuries, according to a statement from the Folsom Cordova Unified School District.

“In response, the principal told students to stop playing games like tag football or other similar activities,” the district said.

The prohibition appears to be limited, as Folsom Cordova does not ban tag districtwide.

Late last week, Gold Ridge Principal David Frankel notified four parents that their children had received warnings for playing too rough during recess.

“Today we implemented new procedures at school aimed at reducing physical contact and related problem behaviors,” read Frankel’s notification to parents. “Student(s) were instructed that physical contact, including tag games, touch football, etc. were not allowed in the yard.”

The principal’s email to the four parents outlined three levels of discipline:

  • 1. Warning and walk with yard supervisors.
  • 2. Referral to the principal’s office and removal from yard for a day.
  • 3. Parent-teacher-principal disciplinary conference.

“Today your child received a warning for unsafe/physical play (i.e tag/pushing). They walked with the yard supervisor for the remainder of recess,” the note said.

The district said in its statement that it is not uncommon for a school to enact new recess rules to address behavior problems.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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