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Canada Education Idle

Toronto School Bans Hard Balls 319

In an attempt to finally "think of the children," Earl Beatty Public school has prohibited students from playing with balls after a "few serious incidents" in which students and staff were hit or almost hit by balls. From the article: "The happy days of kicking a ball around at recess ended Monday after students took home a letter advising that henceforth, no child could bring a soccer ball, football, volleyball or even tennis ball to the junior and senior school in the area of Coxwell and Danforth Aves." I assume all lunches will soon be taken via feeding tube to minimize choking hazards.
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Toronto School Bans Hard Balls

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:26PM (#38091480)

    I'm watching you.

  • What next? (Score:5, Funny)

    by ksd1337 ( 1029386 ) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:27PM (#38091486)
    Will they ban pencils, because they can be sharpened into "stabbing weapons?"
    • by baelgren ( 825445 ) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:31PM (#38091560)
      Don't forget the grave danger posed by paper cuts - they should ban paper too. Computers can cause eyestrain, those should probably go. Many text books are heavy and could cause injury if dropped or thrown, so those are gone. I guess the kids should all just go to individual padded cells where they listen to instructional reading piped over speakers....wait, speakers can be turned up too loud causing hearing loss......
    • You joke... but I did get stabbed with a pencil on the playground. I had a "graphite" tattoo where the lead entered me- faded over a few years- but it remained for a while.

    • They don't do much when you do get stabbed with them, depending on where that is. I still have a piece of pencil graphite in my thigh from 12th grade. Won't say how long ago that was... ;)
    • by Jeng ( 926980 )

      Hell, some were designed to be weapons that you can carry anywhere. []

    • by ackthpt ( 218170 )

      Will they ban pencils, because they can be sharpened into "stabbing weapons?"

      Yep, they'll have to go back to carving their words into blocks of wood with knives, stilettos and daggers.

    • by wjcofkc ( 964165 )
      When I was in 1st grade Joey B. asked Devin M. if he could borrow a piece of paper. Devin responded by taking his freshly sharpened pencil and driving it clean through Joeys hand.

      It was one of the coolest things I've ever seen.
    • Re:What next? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by liquidweaver ( 1988660 ) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @07:17PM (#38092330)

      Right after the Columbine thing happend (I was in highschool), the school I was at started banning stuff left and right. Noting the ridiculousness in a very similar fashion to waht you are doing here, me and a few buddies printed out a ream of flyers declaring that "Sharp writing utensils, including pencils and pens will be confiscated" and that you have to use "approved safe" writing instruments like markers and crayons.

      We then snuck out during an assembly and taped them up everywhere. Amazing, noone got caught - but it was effective. A few students took them home, some discussion started, and some of the bans were lifted (including dusters/long coats).

      It was the proudest moment of highschool for me :)

    • by afxgrin ( 208686 ) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @11:35PM (#38094368)

      Why is this relevant news to this site? Has /. become Fark?

      This is also an elementary school in the middle of Toronto. It has limited yard space, and hence, not much room for kids to share a relatively small space.

  • Yep, that says it all.

  • Hard Balls? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:31PM (#38091564)
    I envisioned a baseball or a softball (a large baseball that isn't really soft).

    soccer ball, football, volleyball or even tennis ball

    None of those listed are even hard! What do they consider soft, Nerf?

    • by Trogre ( 513942 ) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:41PM (#38091724) Homepage

      In fact that is the school's new slogan: Nerf or nothing.

    • Re:Hard Balls? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Zaphod The 42nd ( 1205578 ) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:45PM (#38091804)
      TFA says nerf and sponge balls only. Its pretty sad. :(
      • by sjames ( 1099 )

        They'll be banned in the next 5 years as kids far too dumbed down to be viable start suffocating when they try to inhale the Nerf balls.

    • That was my first thought.

      My second thought was "Time to buy me some stocks in Nerf... their value is about to skyrocket"

      Course... they tend to be form-molded, which has edges that can be kinda scratchy sorta. Perhaps I should go back a step and get stocks in sponge manufacturers instead.

      Or both... can't hurt *ducks*

    • How the fuck are they supposed to play lacrosse? Try playing that with a Nerf ball.
      Or are they banning lacrosse, too, because you might hit someone?
      Getting beaned with a speeding lacrosse ball teaches you to pay attention to your surroundings. Good lesson to learn. Why do they want their kids to be dumb? (Rhetorical, folks - don't need an answer...)

    • My first thought was no baseballs, just softballs. That might be somewhat reasonable, a baseball can be thrown faster than a softball and people do get real injuries from them. I never expected anything this stupid.
      • Softballs can get up to a good clip once they're hit (and even while thrown), and they're almost as dense as baseballs, but with only slightly more mass.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:31PM (#38091566)

    Stop thinking of the children and their balls.. That's not what we ment when we said 'think of the children'.

  • by Baloroth ( 2370816 ) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:35PM (#38091612)

    First, a story about a Boeing "Penetrator". Now, a summary about balls. "In an attempt to finally "think of the children" Earl Beatty Publid school has prohibited students from playing with balls" practically shoves it in your face. Dick jokes... actually, are still pretty funny. Nevermind go right ahead.

    The ban on hard balls being brought to school is a “proactive measure. It’s also a preventative measure,”

    Yes. That would work as a preventative too. Most schools take a slightly... different approach, but I suppose banning balls period works too. To prevent head injuries.

  • How can they ban this?

  • Almost as wacky, I mean, zany; no, I mean bombastic as US laws .. or so I'm led to believe by the news these days.

    Probably next ban saying "Eh!"

  • by arthurpaliden ( 939626 ) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:37PM (#38091658)
    Distinct possibility of frivolous lawsuits cause ban on hard balls at Toronto school.
  • by ShavedOrangutan ( 1930630 ) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:40PM (#38091712)
    November 7, the entire school board for my county of 60,000 residents went up for election. Only 2000 people voted. Several of the board members ran uncontested. The rest were reelected.

    If you don't like crap like this, get yourself or someone you trust on the school board. It can't be that hard!

    The general voting public ignores local politics, which is much more important for day to day life.
    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      get yourself or someone you trust on the school board

      Does serving on the school board require experience as a licensed teacher?

      • Nope. It's an elected office just like any other. It pays six figures, too.
  • More trash on /. (Score:5, Informative)

    by rish87 ( 2460742 ) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:41PM (#38091728)
    Why is this on here?! This is not at all tech or nerd related and it is completely overblown. If your RTFA you'll see it is ONE SCHOOL enacting a temporary measure because they have 350 kids on a playground that is too small which also includes a day care with toddlers. I don't even know why the "toronto news" thought this was newsworthy let alone slashdot.
  • no child could bring a soccer ball, football, volleyball or even tennis ball

    Better learn cricket or hockey then. Those games have nice soft balls that are completely armless.

  • This whole "think of the children" is getting out of hand. I remember growing up climbing trees, using a tall spiral slide, and playing on monkey bars. Could I have gotten hurt? Sure, but scrapes, bruises, and learning how to fall is a part of growing up. If you remove all possible ways for a child to develop his motor skills and learn how to deal with an occasional "oops" when they get hurt, we are going to grow up with a bunch of kids who prefer to sit out of sports and other social events.

    This is
    • I agree with you completely, and suggest also that if we as a culture continue down this path of protecting the little ones to the maximum possible degree.
      In a generation or so, we are going to have a lot of 18 year old people dying as soon as they stop being protected.
  • by IpSo_ ( 21711 ) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:50PM (#38091898) Homepage Journal

    We used to use these so called "hard" balls explicitly to throw at people with the intent to hit them. I believe they called it a "game"... Ball tag?

    Schools will attempt to ban any and everything that could possibly be fun even if there is no chance of someone getting hurt (trading hockey cards was banned from my elementary school), its ridiculous.

  • What about rocks? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wisnoskij ( 1206448 ) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:52PM (#38091934) Homepage

    Rocks are not balls and you can still play catch, baseball, hockey, etc. with them.

  • by superdave80 ( 1226592 ) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:57PM (#38092060)

    ..the most serious injury at the school to date involved a parent, who was hit in the head by a soccer ball and suffered a concussion.

    If that parent can suffer a concussion from a soccer ball kicked by a kid then they need to wear a helmet whenever they leave the house. Don't punish everybody else for having a skull made out of jello.

  • Well this is toronto, so it's pretty damn typical of the over-reaction. Then again this is the same city that has flown in the face and allowed segregated based schools, and religious discrimination to occur on the tax payer dole, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

  • Kids learn by doing things. Some things have nice results, some are unpleasant. They don't do the unpleasant things again. Part of the reason for having them learn in a school is that it is an environment where they can be guided and with adults around the effects of the unpleasant can be switfly dealt with.

    So kids will now not learn that intercepting a hard ball with your head might hurt. They will do that outside of school where if they get knocked down there will not be a responsible adult who can act sw

  • Why do people really need to worry about this? Kids play, they get hurt, they get better, and stronger, and hopefully smarter. I propose we buy little Aerons for all schoolkids because those plastic stackable chairs suck and will hurt their backs. Many kids aren't athletic, and that's fine, but many/most kids like playing throw/hit the ball games, and they should be allowed to.

    /'bout the biggest pair you've ever seen, dingleberry!
  • Beyond reasonable (Score:4, Interesting)

    by failedlogic ( 627314 ) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @07:12PM (#38092270)

    Many kids today are inactive and do everything to play sports. School is an environment to grow, learn, play and socialize. Sports seems to fit this very well.

    A colleague of mine at work said their 8 yr old son was sent home from school on Halloween, because their outfit was 'too scary'. The parents got a letter and other kids were apparently dismissed. He had a mummy or vampire costume mom had made him.

    I don't have kids yet. It seems odd that the generation that grew out of having hippie pot smoking, acid dropping, heavy metal parents to their kids who, like myself, grew up listening to and enjoying even crazier music and exposed to more sex, drugs and alcohol are the same that are deeply offended by 'scary' Halloween costumes or kids playing sports at school.

    I live in Toronto and compared to what goes on in the rest of the city, playing with your (or other people's) balls should be the least of parents' concerns. (pun intended),

  • as long as they're still allowed to play hockey.
  • by residieu ( 577863 ) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @07:18PM (#38092344)

    This wasn't brought on by a series of injuries, but a series on "incidents". People were getting hit or almost hit. Oh No! One of those people hit got a concussion! Yes, concussions can be serious, but if you let your kids get any kinds of exercise at all they run the risk of a concussion. I got a concussion falling off a jungle gym. No balls involved at all.

    One concussion and some bruises or abrasions is no reason to ban a fun form of exercise. No one ever suggested I stop climbing on things after I hurt myself. (I know that since I've left school, people have made that demand of today's kids, but that's just as unreasonable.

  • But these kid where using ball cannons they fashioned from information the got from Instructables. This enabled them to shoot their balls at velocities 100's of feet per second at other students and teachers. These were scary devices that may have seriously smashed the balls of innocent bystanders.
  • if we ban Hardball, then Earl Weaver and RBI have to be banned too!
  • I don't know how it works in the USA, but I would have thought "hard balls" only encompasses things like baseballs and hockey pucks (and maybe lacross - I can't remember for sure, but I watched my cousin play a few games when I was in CA and I seem to recall I did not want to get hit by the ball).

    Here in Australia I would classify cricket balls as hard balls as well. Hockey balls (my g/f plays grass hockey) as well.

    Banning hard balls, I could in some way understand - those things can cause some pretty serio

  • You know how many times I got hurt playing soccer and floor hockey during lunch and recess? No one cared and you looked cool with scars in front of the ladies.

  • by Tastecicles ( 1153671 ) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @07:34PM (#38092584)

    ... is this the same school that first stopped keeping scores in soccer because they didn't want to "emotionally harm" the losing side?

    I weep for the species.

  • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @07:40PM (#38092682)

    Google maps shows a urban JK-8 school with a tiny green space and playground.

    The street level view is crowded.
    There is a small area set aside with a handful of shade trees, a slide, climbers, etc., for the youngest kids.
    A running track frames the play area for the older ones.
    There is a batting cage at the far end of the field, but no other permanent structures.

    You could probably safely practice and play some team sports here under controlled conditions. But 350 kids on break each doing their own thing?

    I don't think so.

    The Address: 55 Woodington Avenue, Toronto, ON M43 3J3, Canada

  • Obligatory wisdom from George Carlin. [] It's only a matter of time before idly standing around is banned.
  • Children will need to get permission from the tag-ee prior to tagging them as 'it'.
  • Pool Safety (Score:4, Funny)

    by superdoo ( 13097 ) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @08:44PM (#38093404) Homepage

    I went to kindergarten at this school and almost drowned while on a class trip, I'm ok with them taking a safety-focused approach.

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.