WINDHAM, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire school district has banned dodgeball and other “human target” activities over concerns about violence and bullying.
The school board in Windham voted 4-1 last week to remove the game and nine others from the district’s curriculum.
The Eagle-Tribune reports the board voted after a committee of physical education teachers studied the issue. A middle school parent complained his child was bullied during a dodgeball game.
“We spend a lot of time making sure our kids are violence free,” Windham superintendent Dr. Henry LaBranche said. “Here we have games where we use children as targets. That seems to be counter to what we are trying to accomplish with our anti-bullying campaign.”
School Board member Dennis Senibaldi cast the sole vote against the ban.
“We have rules that are set in place to deal with bullying,” he said. “We don’t need to ban an entire round of games just to enforce those rules.”
The National Association for Sport and Physical Education said there are any number of reasons to drop dodgeball.
“It’s an elimination game,” said Andrew Mead, program manager at NASPE. “Games like dodgeball and tag don’t keep kids involved and physically active. They objectify slower students who don’t catch as well.”
Senibaldi offered a solution.
“We could just do it on a point system,” he said. “So, no one gets knocked out right away.”