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In defense of dodgeball

To the editor:

The Canadian Society for the Study of Education at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences has decided that dodgeball — the gym class game and rite of passage for most elementary schoolers — is not merely a somewhat dangerous schoolyard pastime, it’s a tool designed to teach children an “unethical system of oppression” that “legalizes bullying.” Apparently the “Society” views competition through the lens of oppression and bullying. I disagree.

As a physical education instructor way back in the 1960’s I would sometimes include a short game of “dodgeball” — using large soft rubber balls — into one of my classes as a change of pace. I found most students enjoyed the game. The more athletic ones usually tried to eliminate friends of comparable athleticism first, not embarrass the lesser skilled. And the smile on the face of someone lesser skilled after eliminating someone perceived as stronger and more agile was priceless!

Bob Jentges

North Mankato

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