Ok so I’m exaggerating. But the latest ‘rules’ to be enforced by my children’s primary school seem to support that fact.
You remember all the cool things about school? Swapping your Panini footy cards at break time (got it, got it, want it, got it, want it, want it, got it), cartwheels on the school field, playing football with your mates with a pair of jumpers for goalposts as your mums nattered away in the playground at home time? Wham bars from the tuck shop.
Well, none of that is allowed any more.
Health and safety.
Clearly there was nothing healthy or safe about school when I was there. Us kids who used to whack each other with hockey sticks. Do handstands up the gym wall. Play British Bulldog en masse in the playground like some huge heaving mass of bodies.
Oh, but hang on, I’m OK aren’t I?
It feels a bit like school has become so sterilised and so careful as not to offend anyone, they’re starting to offend everyone.
A couple of years ago, girls were informed that they had to wear cycling shorts under their skirts if they wanted to do handstands.
Swapping any kind of collectable cards is banned because it causes arguments.
A mini chocolate roll in your lunchbox can earn you a terse letter from the head.
And now the boys have been told they can no longer kick a ball around in the playground after school while their parents stand and chat. Despite the fact that they’ve been doing it without incident for the past three years. And those are only the years I know of. I’m sure this heinous practice was going on before we arrived at the school gate.
I know that schools need to be safe places for our children to be and that the staff need to minimise accidents and incidents and upset etc.
But honestly. How are they ever to learn what the big bad world is like once they’re outside this protective environment?
Maybe I’m being unreasonable? Maybe learning about fair play or the art of negotiating or respecting others isn’t something I should expect my children’s school to be instilling in them?
Or is it?