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Should there be a moratorium on high school football?

The District Administration – Mark A. Serva

“With the latest season of high school football concluded, now is perhaps an ideal time to consider whether or not there should be another. The game’s big hits generate excitement, but a growing body of research indicates that the human brain is not equipped to absorb such violent impacts. Microscopic tears and plaque (dubbed chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE) gradually diminish the capacity of players’ brains. Early symptoms include dizziness and confusion, which can eventually progress to memory loss, tremors, speech impediments and even dementia.” (more)

How parents can stop hazing before kids become victims — or suspects

The Dallas Morning News – Julieta Chiquillo

“I often see that parents’ viewpoint on this issue depends upon which side their child is on. If their child is the aggressor, they tend to excuse the behavior and say, “It’s no big deal” and “Why would you ruin someone’s life over this?” What I would really encourage parents to think is, “If my child were the one being abused, how would I feel?” Try to think about it from the victim’s point of view. Parents can play a big role in helping their children see the error of their ways. If they’re just repeating patterns of behavior, it can be difficult to stop that.” (more)

Ex-NFL stars urge no tackle football before age 14

The Daily World – Bob Glauber

“With increased evidence that repeated hits to the head frequently lead to degenerative brain disease, one of the country’s leading advocacy groups on head trauma has called for the abolition of tackle football until players reach age 14. Backed by renowned former NFL linebackers Harry Carson, Nick Buoniconti and Phil Villapiano, the Concussion Legacy Foundation launched the “Flag Football Under 14” initiative Thursday at a news conference in Manhattan.” (more)

Schools add another ‘S’ to STEM—for sports

The District Administration – Steven Wyman-Blackburn

“Administrators from the Houston area discovered a more effective way of teaching terminal velocity and gravity—by keeping students afloat on 150-mph winds inside a vertical tunnel. The experience—hosted by the indoor skydiving facility iFLY—is one of many physical activities that schools use to better engage students in STEM courses. “PE-based STEM brings life back into physics,” says Georgette Yakman, founder of STEAM Education, a company that provides PD. “It connects athletes to the deep level of mathematical science behind their movements.”(more)

Pushing Kids in Sports vs. Pushing Kids in School

Education Next – Robert Pondiscio

“Hand wringing over Americans’ obsession with sports at the expense of academics is a hardy perennial in education writing, social commentary, and even sketch comedy. Many parents “don’t push their children very hard when it comes to academics” Perry explains, because they “don’t necessarily believe in the connection between effort and academic achievement, and don’t believe that academic success is within reach of any student willing to work hard for it.” Not quite right. For starters, I don’t buy entirely the comparison; I’d wager that most parents still make participation in organized sports conditional based on their child’s keeping his or her grades up. It’s also easier for most parents to engage with their child’s athletics than academics. By the time my daughter was in middle school, my days of helping with her math homework were over. But I can still lace ‘em up and go for a run with her.”(more)

Are ‘non-competitive sports days’ really better for school kids?

The Guardian – Leo Benedictus

“According to a recent survey, 57% of parents with children at primary school say their sports day is “non-competitive”. This means an event in which “everyone joins in via a team-focused event where individuals are not singled out”, says Families Online, which conducted the survey. In practice, this often results in schools dividing the children into groups that do compete, while parents yell encouragement from the sidelines. There are no school records to be broken and no tears on podiums. The survey found that 86% of its responders do not approve.”(more)