Over the last few months, elementary schools throughout the country are banning one of the last remnants of our youth: tag. No longer will boys and girls playful yell "You're it!" as they trounce through the playyard. In our politically correct and overly cautious society, one might think on first glance that these new policies are both eccentric and overbearing. This may be the case, but the reasoning behind these guidelines is sound. Schools are nervous of Personal Injury litigation.
A game of tag may seem sufficiently innocent to the average bystander. However, even according to many elementary school students, aggressive pushing has led to significant injury, including broken bones and concussions. Just imagine two 6th grade boys "having fun" and shoving each other on hard dirt or concrete, and you can see the potential problems schools are facing.
Some parents and students may think banning tag is a silly policy, but the school must protect itself from potential liability and protecting their students from injury. The schools have a duty to safeguard the children under their supervision. If a child is seriously injured under the school's command, the school (and your tax dollars) may be on the hook for the child's injuries in a Personal Injury lawsuit. Notwithstanding the absurdity that is banning a game of tag, before you get upset with the school, remember that the law is always a factor behind many of these decisions. At Magnuson Lowell, we can help you understand the law and the many questions behind it.