Why Can't Kids Just Be Kids?

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When you look at a lot of playgrounds in the area you may notice something is missing.

"Swings are not part of the playground any longer because of some of the injuries that take place," said Thomas Inserra, Sealey Elementary Principal.

Swings aren't the only thing missing. You won't find children playing dodge ball, flag football or tag on the playground at Tallahassee's Sealey Elementary School.

"Unorganized tag is very chaotic, and kids end up getting pushed down, shoved, knocked over, and it ends up causing problems, fighting," said Ruth Lyle, a physical education teacher at Sealey Elementary.

While the notion of children playing seems harmless enough, Sealey's principal said organized play comes with less risk of injury.

"We saw some injuries a couple years ago with some games that became more or less a shoving matter, so we put a stop to do that we added more organized activities," said Inserra.

Activities like healthy snack tag can be played, but only during gym class when children are supervised.

"It's a smaller area, there are boundaries, and I can be there to supervise the area, whereas before school when they were playing tag and they were all over the place, from one end to the playground to the other, so it was hard to keep up with them," said Lyle.

Educators said they aren't trying to suck the fun out of recess, but organization and supervision are necessary to avoid injuries. While the no tag rule is not a policy in the Leon County School District, more schools are turning to alternative games hoping to make playgrounds a little safer.