'Not It': Is Charlotte Avenue Tag Policy Kid Friendly?

As a matter of school playground safety policy, tag is not allowed at Charlotte Elementary School.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.
Another schoolyard fight is brewing over students' rights to play certain games during school hours.


According to this story in the Nashua TelegraphCharlotte Avenue Elementary Principal Patricia Beaulieu is reinforcing the school's standing policy on the game of tag, after what she describes in a memo posted on the school's website as "numerous injuries," including a broken wrist, according to the Telegraph story.

Nashua Patch stopped by the school Thursday morning, but an office staff member said Beaulieu would not be available for comment, as she was in scheduled meetings all day.

In the meantime, the notice Beaulieu released on the school website is included below.

Earlier this year Windham School District reversed itself on a ban of "human target games," reinstating dodge ball into the curriculum. You can refresh your memory on that story here via Windham Patch in which 10 such games were evaluated for educational value (tag was not among them).
You can click here and scroll through the agenda to see the evaluation, which looked at the following human target games:
  • Rescue 911/Doctor Doctor
  • Prison Ball (grades 1-2)
  • Prison Ball (grades 3-5)
  • Drop in the Bucket
  • Slaughter
  • Cone Ball/Air Attack
  • Four Corner Bombardment
  • No-out Dodge Ball
  • Star Wars (Dr. Dodge Ball)
  • Cage Dodgeball

Share your thoughts in the comment field.

Charlotte Ave. Announcements: Recess Rules

Playgrounds offer a chance for children to be active. However, playgrounds also have risks, and numerous injuries have resulted recently on our playground, prompting us to review school playground rules with all students.

As you know, the traditional recess game “tag,” involves one or more players chasing other players in an attempt to "tag" or touch them, usually with their hand. Seems innocent enough, however the force with which students “tag” varies greatly, and this game, in particular, has been banned in many schools in the United States due primarily to concerns about injuries. The other issue with tag is that students are running and not paying attention to where they are going. They are often running through other games and there have been numerous incidents where innocent bystanders have been injured from this type of play.

Our main objective is to keep all children safe on the playground. At the beginning of the school year, both Mr. Rivard and Mrs. Paul discussed playground games with students that are both appropriate and enjoyable. On Monday, 10/7/13 they will be meeting with all grade levels again to review these games.
Meg Doucette October 10, 2013 at 09:55 AM
OK, my stepson's daughter fell off the monkey bars at recess a few years ago at Amherst St School and broke her arm. Does that mean they should take the monkey bars away too??? They are lucky they're not playing hospital tag! But regular tag is OK in my eyes. I grew up playing all those games in school at recess and I'm a fine, normal, adjusted adult! My daughter plays "Duck Duck Goose" in gym at school. Should this be banned too because it involves hitting one's head???? C'mon people!
Kalin Krueger Hamilton October 10, 2013 at 10:04 AM
Instead of going over "appropriate yet enjoyable" games to TEACH kids to play (Does anyone remember when kids actually KNEW how to play all on their own? Anyone?), maybe they can sit down with the kids and remind them to PAY ATTENTION to where they are going and their surroundings. Ridiculous.
ray October 10, 2013 at 03:15 PM
Why would anyone send their kids to a school run by clowns like these? Certainly, the kids won't learn how to live in a free society.
Judy Robinson October 10, 2013 at 04:26 PM
Meg Doucette, I read a while back that duck, duck, goose has been banned a lot of places, because when a kid does not get goosed, it hurts their feelings. Really stupid, but sadly, not a joke
susan October 10, 2013 at 11:10 PM
I feel bad for these kids, they are being "helicoptered" to death by parents and administrators. Just put them all in bubbles so nothing ever happens to them..I think some of the best stories from my childhood happened in the school yard, Good or bad, but now they all just seem funny and memorable.
richard nicoletti October 11, 2013 at 05:18 AM
Maybe they should hook up computer games for the kids to use during recess. Nobody gets hurt when kids just sit down. Of course, nobody gets healthy either. The world is upside down.
R. Scott White October 11, 2013 at 09:11 AM
Try to interview the Broad Street School too; they have a similar tag policy. It should be noted that despite the strangeness of this, tag apparently in some schools was turning into a place where bullies congregate. Maybe that's what is behind this? Still sounds a little heavy handed to me. My daughter is 9, in fourth grade and already seems to know when a game is too rough or not; apparently too many children can't tell? I'm trying to logically explain this, and am having a hard time.
Carol Robidoux (Editor) October 11, 2013 at 09:30 AM
Removing my editor's hat for a moment to weigh in, "in my day" [she said, shaking her fist and clenching her granny shawl] our teachers were the playground monitors and you didn't mess around. If you were caught doing something you shouldn't be doing on the playground, you had to stand by the wall for the rest of recess, your play privileges revoked. Plus, it was *your teacher*, and so that teacher had a direct channel to your mom and dad, should your behavior become problematic. I don't know when or why the policy changed about teacher duties, but in my head, anyway, it feels kind of like the continuity of classroom behavior has been lost in the process of having volunteer recess monitors.
Jimmy October 11, 2013 at 09:43 AM
First, get rid of the asphalt "play" areas. Next, require all kids be wrapped in pillows, and wear helmets. Give me a break !! We grew up with snowball fights, acorn and chestnut fights, & an occasional rock fight. It's part of the learning process. If we keep teaching them that there are no consequences for their actions, they'll never know. As they say, "a cat will jump on a cold stove many times, but only once on a hot stove"..... Let them be kids !
Eric Jeffrey October 11, 2013 at 09:59 AM
For all those remembering when they played tag, remembertoo that we also played on playgrounds with hard surfaces, and rode in cars without seatbelts. Most of us made it without too much damage, but a significant number did not. Just as new surfaces for slides, monkey bars, and the like, have reduced injuries, it may well make sense not to have tag at school. If kids want to play on their own time, that is fine and up to their parents, but the school is responsible for them while in school, and if in fact there have been numerous injuries, the policy makes sense.
Reyn Stokardbrkr October 11, 2013 at 10:02 AM
My 7yo sails after school and my 7 and 4yo both go surfing with me....is that child endangerment now? Give me a break, what adult didn't play these games growing up! If recess was fun perhaps there wouldn't be fat kids! I bet the principal in question is a big fat cow!
Ray Hend October 11, 2013 at 11:17 AM
We're raising a nation of wimps.
P kuhlman October 11, 2013 at 11:33 AM
Morons run our schools today.
Danny October 11, 2013 at 11:51 AM
The principal and all those like her need to be fired immediately. It is clear that they lack common sense. Why even have recess if all the kids are going to be allowed to do is stand around. Just like the idiot principal that cancelled Holloween because one parent (mother) complained that in some fashion it was related to religion and that was not fair to her daughter who is being taught that religion is bad. Tell that mother to keep her daughter home that day and let the other kids have their fun. Common sense is dead.
Notmybrotherskeeper October 11, 2013 at 12:10 PM
Liberalism at its finest! Or actually worse, as it were.
Jessica Hall Lavoie October 11, 2013 at 12:49 PM
Carol, I could not agree more.
Al Stenzel October 11, 2013 at 12:58 PM
With all of this "protection" could this be why autism rates are skyrocketing? It makes sense to me that we need to be exposed to danger and germs to build up our defensive and immune systems.
Al Stenzel October 11, 2013 at 01:05 PM
I remember recesses when we flew kites, did tricks with Duncan Yo-Yo's, threw showballs, smoked those skinny cigar-like things from trees, shot peas from pea shooters. played dodgeball, threw our pocketknives at a target pinned to a tree, rode bikes without wearing a helmet, and we all survived just fine.
Donna Webster-Roberts October 11, 2013 at 06:38 PM
WHY do we not just let kids be kids??? We all played these games and I do not know anyone who ever broke a bone.....YES accidents happen but they need to stop taking things away from the children! They have altered holiday celebrations, taken away toy guns etc and now tag? America is raising a bunch of weak kids. They need to play and learn. Whats next? Bubble wrapping them? This is so ridiculous and sad. What happened to exercise? Stop this insanity and let American kids be kids!
Mica Burns October 13, 2013 at 12:08 PM
This is absolutely absurd..... I have two kids that g o to charlotte ave and sure they know some kids that have gotten hurt out a recess but nether of my children know of anyone being hurt while playing tag. I for one want my kids to be kids.... I want them to play like kids and have fun..... and if they get hurt, well they will learn from it....... and all of the instances that my kids know of other children getting hurt all of the recess monitors where so far away they didn't even notice the injured child screaming and crying. So how w would they even know it was a game of tag that caused a child to be injured.


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