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Long Island Middle School Bans Childhood

It seems Weber Middle School on Port Washington, Long Island hates children and wants them to get fat.

Earlier this month, the school banned footballs, soccer balls, and baseballs. They also banned games of tag and cartwheels unless an adult supervisor is present.

School administrators cited an overinflated, unreasonable fear of serious injuries, despite the fact that nearly every child in the history of the world has survived playing tag, doing cartwheels, and playing with footballs and soccer balls.

According to a story on CBS 2 News' website, they told students no more football, "hard soccer balls," baseballs, lacrosse balls, and that adults had to watch the kids play tag or do cartwheels, because as everyone knows, no child has ever been injured while an adult watches disinterestedly from several feet away.

However, to show that they still understand that children need to burn off energy, they allowed soft Nerf balls, because "the softer foam balls put students in the best situation to cut down the chance of getting injured."

Apparently they're not concerned about foam poisoning.

Port Washington schools superintendent Kathleen Maloney told CBS 2 they created the policy because they felt the community's helicopter parents weren't doing enough to ruin their own children's lives, so administrators decided to see if they could ruin everyone's.

Actually, what she said was "Some of these injuries can unintentionally become very serious, so we want to make sure our children have fun, but are also protected." Then she cackled, "everything I just said was true except for wanting our children to have fun."

But the Weber students aren't taking this lying down. At least not until administrators force them to sleep in those slime-filled pods from "The Matrix."

"I think we need the soccer balls, the footballs and everything, so we can have some fun," one student told CBS 2.

School administrators say that without protective gear, such as helmets and kneepads, children are more likely to get injured. This may be true, but no kid wants to go through childhood wearing a helmet and protective harness whenever they leave the house like Phillip the hyper hypo kid from Saturday Night Live.

"Children's safety is paramount, but at the same time, you have to let them live life," said Ellen Cohen, a Weber parent. Many parents echoed Cohen's sentiments, and said this was yet one more case of interfering lawyers wringing their hands about liability issues, instead of letting kids do the one thing that comes naturally to them: mildly injuring themselves.

Or as Arthur Caplan and Lee Iger wrote in Forbes, "(t)he idea that attorneys should decide what goes on during recess is akin to asking accountants to decide what would be the best way to spend your money at an amusement park."

But it's only going to get worse before it gets better: several school districts from Long Island have already been in touch with the school, possibly considering banning childhood from — and raising fat kids in — their own schools.

As the years continue to waddle by, there is less and less incentive for kids to go outside, thanks to 500 channels of TV, epic-length video games, and helicopter parents who won't let their precious snowflakes go past the driveway, kids will only continue to get fatter.

And no matter how many times First Lady Michelle Obama tells us to Just Say No to cheeseburgers, kids who don't engage in physical activity when they're young won't know how it's done when they're adults.

It's an ongoing problem. Schools cut physical education because George W. Bush didn't want to leave any kids behind. The problem is now many of them are too fat to keep up. Then schools started cutting down on games like kickball and football, because kids might get hurt. And now they're coming after balls and harmless games and activities.

To top it off, you get doctors like Salvatore Pardo who, on one hand, think kids shouldn't play unless they have helmets and body armor, and on the other, scratch their cotton-filled heads and wonder why there's a childhood obesity epidemic.

The two groups of people who are supposed to make sure kids have a fun childhood are now the same two groups responsible for ruining it. The whole point of childhood is to play and have fun, not to waddle through life wrapped up in bubble wrap and a parent's terror.

Because if Weber Middle School and these other school districts have their way, we'll have so many fat kids in the United States, the planet will tilt on its axis and send us spinning into the sun.



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