A [British] school has banned whistles to signal the end of playtime as staff are worried the “aggressive” noise will scare childrenreports the Daily Telegraph's Elizabeth Roberts (cheers for the Instapundit link, mate).
Staff at St Monica's Catholic Primary School in Milton Keynes must instead raise a hand in the air to get the attention of pupils at the end of break time.
A teaching assistant at the school, Pamela Cunningham, attacked the ban in a letter to Country Life Magazine.
She said that she keeps her hand-carved whistle in her pocket 'just in case' children don't spot her hand in an emergency.
Professor Alan Smithers, of Buckingham University, branded the move as “crazy” telling the Sunday Times:
“We have become extraordinarily over-sensitive. Does this mean children are not going to be able to play football and hockey because the referees use whistles?”St Monica’s is a voluntary aided school for boys and girls between the ages of three and eleven, with 467 children on roll.
The move comes after students at Christ the King, a Catholic primary school in Leeds, were banned from playing tag (also known as tig) in the playground.As you can expect, the controversy is an object of concern to all but the people directly involved, i.e., the very children, not a single one of whom, apparently, has even dreamed of raising his or her voice in complaint. Bringing to mind the controversy in America over the Redskins sports team, which has everybody in a fizzy, everybody, that is,
The head teacher claimed children have become upset amid the rough and tumble of the traditional chasing game.
Meanwhile students celebrating graduation from the University of East Anglia are no longer allowed to throw their mortarboards in the air.
The university blamed health and safety concerns, saying a number of graduates have been hurt by falling hats in recent years.
The move was criticized by Emma Kenny, a leading child psychologist, who said she has yet to meet a child who was afraid of the whistles. She added: “I think we are at a time where health and safety is eradicating childhood.”