A school in Toronto's east end is getting a lot of flak -- for banning the use of 'hard' balls after a parent struck in the head suffered a concussion.
Alicia Fernandez, the principal of Earl Beatty Public School, claimed balls are simply too dangerous for the playground. "Kids were coming in complaining of injury, or being scared," she said.
The ban does not extend to sponge or other soft balls but includes soccer balls, footballs, baseballs, even tennis balls.
Needless to say, some parents feel the school's knee-jerk reaction is excessive and unfair.
"A lot of things could happen," said Chris Stateski, who has a son in Grade 2 and a daughter in Grade 4 at Earl Beatty. "A child could trip on the asphalt, a child could fall off the monkey bars and break their arm. So many things could happen. What are they going to do — cover the schoolyard in pillows and take all the doors off the hinges?"
Although he sympathized with the injured woman, Stateski doesn't feel the whole school should be penalized for what was an isolated incident. He stressed the relatively small size of the playground wasn't a factor in the ban.
Our neighbours to the south are having a heyday with the ball ban. Saturday Night Live already had a poke, while radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh warned that such a ban would "wimpify" kids.
Ontario Education Minister Laurel Broten, however, supported the principal's decision, while a spokesperson for Toronto District School Board insisted the ban was a temporary measure while the principal consults with parents and staff to find a solution.
Does the ball ban strike you as OTT (over the top) or better safe than sorry?