For the love of sweet mercy, this story makes me want to weep for the lost innocence of childhood.
A school in Devon has BANNED children from doing handstands or cartwheels in the playground during break due to a number of injuries being sustained during said acrobatic endeavours.
The Independent newspaper reports:
"The new rule stopping all “gymnastic activities” at Old Priory Junior Academy, Plympton, came into force a fortnight ago, after a number of children suffered minor wrist and back injuries and one parent contacted the school, BBC News reported."
I just can't even wrap my head around this lunacy. What kind of mean-spirited mentality bans such a childhood rite of passage as the playground handstand or cartwheel? It's called a playground for a reason!
I spent YEARS of my childhood practicing handstands up against the wall in my primary school playground and those are some of the happiest memories I have of my school days. Yes, now and again one of us very nearly broke our wrists with a badly planned cartwheel execution but that's part and parcel of being a kid.
If we banned kids from doing anything that contained an element of danger we'd stop them walking to school, using pencils and even breathing. What happens if they accidentally ingest a rogue particle of dust in the air?
From confiscating unhealthy food from children's lunchboxes to banning term-time holidays and now forbidding kids from doing cartwheels, it seems we're in danger of becoming a generation of adults hellbent on limiting fun and freedom.
It's worth adding that I'm saying this as the mother of a baby currently in plaster due to a broken leg. She stumbled off a door step whilst adventuring into the garden a little too quickly, and while I'm horrified by the injury she sustained, I'm not about to ban her from playing in the garden or navigating doorsteps unaided.
Childhood is supposed to be fun, and accidents happen; but a childhood which is so ferociously protected and policed so as to remove all possibility of sustaining an injury or - God forbid - eating anything vaguely unhealthy - doesn't sound like much fun to me. Why don't we just wrap our kids in cotton wool and be done with it?
We'd love to hear your views on this. Would you be concerned if your child was banned from doing handstands or cartwheels at school, or do you think the school is simply doing its job of safeguarding children? Let us know over on our Facebook page.