great, now my hometown is a national laugingstock -_-;;

…from … apparently kids can’t play tag at a local elementary school (in fact, one of my sisters went to this school for a few years), read on…


Our say: So now we’re protecting kids from perils of tag? By THE CAPITAL EDITORIAL BOARDWE DON’T envy the children of these dawning years of the 21st century. Yes, they are strong and healthy; yes, they are growing up with computers, videos and all sorts of things that were the stuff of science fiction a few decades back. But we seem to recall that, in the long-dead era of our own childhood, you could play tag on the playground during school recess without getting the principal upset at you.

Actually, we’re sure you can still do so at most county elementary schools. But not at West Annapolis Elementary School, where principal Joan Brisco outlawed the game last fall.

Tag is now allowed as a teacher-led activity during physical education, but not during recess. “They would start up and inevitably it got too rough,” she explained. “The reason we stopped tag was because we didn’t want them getting hurt.”

At about this point, the eyes of some of our readers are stealing to the date at the upper left corner of this page, and a suspicion is dawning: They’re pulling our leg.

No. Honestly, this really happened. We did a story on Monday. In fact, the story was picked up by that dubious Internet institution, the Drudge Report. As a result, our Web site had so many “hits” that our Internet server temporarily froze.

Next to being mentioned by one of the late-night talk-show hosts in an opening monologue, this is the best proof that, for the moment, you’re a national laughingstock.

But we don’t want to be too hard on Ms. Brisco. When it comes to the safety of her school’s 270 children, it’s vastly better that she be overzealous than that she be careless. And as school official Huntley Cross pointed out, principals — as they should — have wide discretion on safety issues.

Also, Ms. Brisco handled it well when about a dozen of her students — organized by fifth-grader Joseph Pantaleo — presented a petition for the restoration of tag. She didn’t change her mind, but she did meet with some of them in her office and send home a letter explaining her policy to parents.

Good for Joseph and his friends! They may not be playing tag, but they’re certainly being educated for life in Anne Arundel County. Sometimes we think petition drives are the leading outdoor and indoor sport here.

As for Ms. Brisco’s policy: We’ll merely say that kids are sooner or later going to be playing sports involving much more physical contact than tag, and it makes more sense to crack down on roughness and inappropriate behavior than to ban a game that has probably been played for as long as there have been kids.

For all that, this story makes us feel better about our own childhood. It seems we weren’t wimps, after all. We played tag. We even risked hide-and-seek. We were daredevils.


in other news, i may be able to make it to the rpg tonight (yay!) if they’ll let me in, since i haven’t done my test rpg yet. *shrug* if not, that’s cool too…