Hands Off Handstand In An Australian School

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By Revathi Siva Kumar | September 4, 2014 4:37 PM EST

Peregian Springs State School at Sunshine Coast believes in mollycoddling children. That is why it has banned unsupervised handstands and cartwheels, calling them too dangerous.

The deputy news editor says that there is no "ban," but they should be "properly supervised by a trained PE teacher," because of the "safety issues involved with these types of moves," The Sunshine Coast Daily reports.

Indignant parents are wild at the notice. Some ask whether Queensland is becoming "the nanny state", not allowing children to play, while others are plain disgusted. "I've always said to my kids that I would rather we all die young and exploring than be old and boring," said Kathy Sundstrom, in an opinion article.

The fault lies in the school principal's caution, rather than in government policy. The school's spokesman, in fact, claims that it is a behavior policy, which wants to strengthen student safety.

Posting it on Facebook has brought out some outraged comments from a number of parents.

University of the Sunshine Coast Associate Professor in Education, Michael Nagel, looked at it from the point of view of the Peregian Springs State School, but he asserts that the ban does not help children's "long term growth and development". While it helps them to understand the value of taking risks, they also become wise about balancing. Play equipment is important, he feels. "Cartwheels help children learn about their space and is important in terms of development."

Many experts rue that depriving the children of risk-taking would make them wimpy rather than 'sportsy'. They would not enjoy the importance of exercise and sports.

In an article on a Roy Morgan Research on 1,500 people in June, 2014, facts show that 10 to 13-year-olds are hooked more to the Internet than to television or friends.

While four years ago, the children would curl up only 15.5 hours in front of the screen, 12 hours with friends and 10.65 hours on the Internet, the focus has shifted today. Currently, they are on the Internet for 13.65 hours, exceeding the habits of children three years ago. The time spent with the Web exceeds the hours consumed by social or television activities.

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