Running is now among the prohibited activities for children at one elementary school – and many parents are in an uproar.
Hillfort Primary School in Liskeard, Cornwall, England, has banned running on the playground because kids might get hurt.
“We’ve tried to be a little more reactive and proactive and put in place eight to 10 lunch time activities for the children, including a choir, sand play, and Lego,” headmaster Tim Cook told The Daily Mail.
But not everyone agrees.
“Stopping children running during free play due to bumping into each other is health and safety gone mad,” a petition created by parent Leah Browning states. “Do not allow ‘health and safety’ to remove the liberty to spontaneously run in the playground during imaginative and child-led play.”
The petition had received 150 signatures as of October 3.
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“It’s a big thing for a child of five to be cooped up all day. Running releases endorphins,” Browning told The Daily Mail. “In the newsletter the school originally sent out, the issue seemed to be about bad behavior.”
But They Can Dance
Browning and other parents learned about the running ban from a school newsletter sent out on September 23. Cook defended the policy in a statement to the newspaper, saying it had led to a 30 percent drop in first-aid incidents and an 80 percent decrease in bad behavior.
“I sat down with some of my senior colleagues to assess the problem with children running across the playground and ending up in first aid,” Cook said.
Yet he partially rescinded the policy after receiving media attention. The youngest of children will be allowed to run, and the soccer fields are now open to running.
“This is just a ban on running from one side of the playground to the other,” he said.
Still, parents remain upset.
“Kids will be kids,” parent Caroline Wills told The Daily Mail. “How far is the school going to take this?”
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