Langley students banned from all hands-on play

Coghlan Fundamental Elementary Kindergarten students are temporarily banned from playing tag, holding hands.

If you are a Kindergarten student at Coghlan Fundamental Elementary, playing tag or holding your friend’s hand will get you sent to the principal’s office.

Langley School District has banned Coghlan Kindergarten students from all forms of hands-on play, including taq and all imaginary play.

On Friday, a letter was sent home to parents of all Kindergarten students telling them their kids are banned from all forms of hands-on play. The ban doesn’t impact any other grades at the school.

The ban means Kindergarten students are prohibited from “playing tag, holding hands, and any and all imaginary fighting games,” said the letter.

The letter goes on to say that the school is going to have a “zero-tolerance policy with regards to hands-on play, resulting in the missing of playtime and trips to the office for those who are unable to follow the rules.”

Langley School District spokesperson Ken Hoff said the decision to temporarily ban hands-on play stemmed from concerns made by some parents about rough play on the playground.

“Some kids were getting hurt out there. For these students, school is something new and this is a short-term measure taken to educate kids around appropriate playground play,” said Hoff.

“Appropriate play means you can’t grab a kid by his hoodie and pull him to the ground when you are playing tag,” he said.

The letter home to parents said “Star Wars” imaginary play was particularly troublesome.

It isn’t known how the Kindergarten students are going to be policed, considering all the other students around them can do hands-on play.

Hoff said they have received some opposition and some support from parents on this ban.

The district has been taken aback about the widespread media coverage on the issue, he said.

“It is a temporary measure, a learning tool to let Kindergarten students hit the reset button. No, we are not banning Christmas next,” said Hoff.

He stressed that the school district is not considering any policies around hands-on play.

He isn’t aware of the district ever doing this before, but said he is under the impression that there are some school districts with a no-touch policy.