Attleboro, Mass.– I recently heard that the Willett School in Attleboro, Massachusetts had banned tag and other physical activities during recess as the children might get hurt.
In view of all the findings that kids are turning into little fat-asses, and that most schools are reinstating sports and phys ed, I took a trip to Attleboro and asked the principal of Willett School, Grace Kinzer, why Willett was going in the other direction.
She said, “The children today differ from when we were young. The only time the kids leave their home is to go to school. Otherwise they are always indoors, and when not eating or sleeping, they are playing their electronic games, watching TV, or on the computer. Furthermore, because of this, the little darlings have very fragile bones and muscles.”
” We cut out all gym and PE and other physical activities,” she continued.” except chess. Of course we watch them closely while they play chess and if they show signs of excessive physical exertion or fatigue, we make them take a break and rest. Our children are escorted to and from the bathrooms by staff, to prevent collapse in the halls. We do allow kids who live less than 15 yards from the school to walk to and from the school if accompanied by a parent. The Scooter Store has given us a discount on power wheelchairs, which are needed by our older students, and we are in the process of changing our stairways to escalators. We don’t like to do it, but we had to suspend one of our fourth-graders for a week for tossing a Frisbee during recess. We can’t take chances of parents suing us!”
At the school, oxygen tanks and masks strategically placed along the halls, I watched plump second graders waddle en route to the Coke and candy machines, sweating and breathing heavily, as teacher’s aides carry their books and backpack for them.