A primary school has banned children from playing football at break-time during Euro 2012 to stop fights breaking out.
Pupils have been told kickabouts and all other ball games are off limits at playtime during the tournament. Instead, staff at Hall Road Primary in Orchard Park hope pupils will skip and play with outdoor chess sets.Fantastic! And the reason?
Deputy head teacher Kristina Frary said the ban was needed to prevent injuries and allow staff to get on with teaching.But only for the duration of Euro 12? I guess injuries don’t happen other times, and teachers couldn’t give a fig for teaching outside of this one gap?
She said: "Passions are running high, especially with the Euro 2012 football tournament. Potentially, that's why children are wound-up.
"We have had a sequence of fall-outs and they were all centred around football. "It was only a small number of incidents – maybe half a dozen – but we have decided to have a break."Oh, I know! It’s just so tiring, isn’t it, doing what you are paid to do! Why not see if you can make your job just that bit easier, eh?
What’s that, the kids? Oh, who cares about them? Or the parents. They’ll just have to lump it, right? It’s not like they are customers, or anything…
Mrs Frary said as well as playground spats, pupils were being overzealous in their tackles after watching their footballing heroes in action in Poland and the Ukraine.Because such tackles are only ever employed in Euro 12 games, and never on any home or away games in the normal football season…
She said: "Children are really into their games and, just like the professionals, they will sometimes misinterpret tackles and perhaps reply in a way that would get them the red card if it happened during a real game.
"It was causing problems. Come the end of break-time, children were still upset and it was spilling into their lessons.
"Teachers ended up spending valuable lesson time sorting out problems."Translation: ‘Teachers find it very stressful to handle playground disputes, when we’d rather just knock out a few by-rote copies of assignments on the office photocopier to give the kiddies so we can read ‘Heat’ in the breakroom and gossip about ‘Big Brother’.’
Head teacher Caroline Holliday said the ban has been imposed to show children the consequences of bad behaviour.Rubbish! If that was really true, it’d be a ban on just the children displaying unacceptable behaviour, wouldn’t it?
Although it’s accepted that the more modern interpretation is that collective punishment applies because it’s easier for the hard-of-thinking and the want-to-be-non-judgemental…
Any dissenters? Apart from the commenters, that is?
Orchard Park ward councillor Julie Conner said she was disappointed to hear about the football ban, but would not condemn the school.
She said: "It is sad the school has had to take this step. Children enjoy letting off steam on the playing fields during lunch and break-time.
"It is especially sad that they can't do this during Euro 2012. With the arrival of the Olympic Torch in Hull this week too, the city has become very sports orientated."
Ms Conner said she had not heard about the ban until she was contacted by the Mail. She said: "Clearly, there must have been several situations at the school that has resulted in this."In other words, ‘teachers know best!’. Even when it’s manifestly obvious that they don’t.