Archive | School and Zero Tolerance and Bullies

Watch out for that potential predator, kids!

Why the “No Touch” Policy at Schools and Camps Makes No Sense

. This letter I got yesterday reminds me of one of the most thorough, fascinating, damning study I’ve ever read about where the “No touch” policy comes from (and why it is unnecessary, and how it actually makes us all MORE afraid for our kids): So those sex crazed pedophiles have invaded the Girl Scouts […]

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My spidey sense tells me he or she is about to prey upon our precious children.

To Volunteer, All You Have to do Is…

. Below is just one of several letters I’ve gotten recently from parents frustrated or furious about having to get background checked before they can do something as simple as coach T-ball, or chaperon kids on a field trip. The idea is that somehow, in the time a parent is shepherding a gaggle of goofy […]

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"Oliver! To step down, put one foot lower than the other and have your body follow."

No Child Left Un-assisted: A Day at the Playground

. A dismaying letter followed by an infuriating news item. Aren’t you glad you got up today? Dear Free-Range Kids:  . My girlfriend and I were strolling through the Western North Carolina Nature Center. There’s a lovely climbing structure for the kids that is supposed to resemble a spider’s web. Though there is the usual soft material […]

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Welcome to Mansfield, OH, where there’s even a MAN in its name! Terrifying!

Attempted Child Abduction!!!! Or, wait…

. UPDATE: Turns out this story took place in Mansfield, OH, not Mansfield, TX. Sorry, Texas!  When you believe all kids are in constant danger, you get situations like this one, in Mansfield, OH: MANSFIELD – Stranger danger education saved one Butler Elementary School student from possible abduction Tuesday. The student was leaving the building […]

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I'm scared some school administrator is going to be an idiot!

What a Stupid and Terrifying School Intruder Drill

From Wyoming’s trib.com news comes possibly the dumbest school shooting drill I’ve heard of: Aubrey Truman was swinging on the playground at Worland’s East Side Elementary School about 10 a.m. Thursday when she received the scare of her life. A man in a hooded sweatshirt with a suspicious backpack appeared in the back of the […]

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Okay, selling THESE at the school plant sale would be a little much.

Principal Writes: Your Children Must be Supervised at All Times

From the: “Don’t confuse me with the facts” dept. comes this note about a note: Dear Free-Range Kids: Our weekly school newsletter contained a paragraph about supervising children at school events with the gem “Unfortunately, the world is not as it was many years ago.” I responded with some objections, citing the various statistics about […]

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A culture of self-infantilization seems to have spawned on campus.

What Hath Overprotection Wrought?

What happens when a generation grows up being told that they need constant supervision because nothing is safe enough? That they should never encounter a bad grade or mean remark, it’s too wounding? That they didn’t lose, they are the “8th place winner!”? At least a slice of them become convinced that they are extremely […]

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homework girl smaller

NYC Elementary School* To Kids: No More Homework — Go Play!

As a longtime fan of Sara Bennett and her Stop Homework movement, I was thrilled she sent this link today about a Manhattan public school that has decided to ditch homework. Then I was doubly thrilled to see: This is the school my own kids attended! It’s just a few blocks from the Empire State Building — a beacon […]

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What if recess wasn't JUST to get kids' energy out?

How to Stop Ruining Recess

Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post published this wonderful piece by Angela Hanscom, founder of TimberNook, a nature-based development program designed to foster creativity and independent play outdoors in New England. Here’s an excerpt. And since most schools do NOT have a forest at hand,  feel free to suggest ways to incorporate these ideas in an urban […]

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