March 13, 2012 Kerala Taylor

Victory! 5th graders now allowed to play on the Green

Common sense has triumphed over senseless fear! Last week we lamented an elementary school's recent ban on its longtime "Fridays on the Green" tradition, which was prompted by complaints about safety and unruly behavior. As part of the tradition, 5th graders with parental permission were able to walk downtown by themselves on Friday afternoons to eat ice cream and play on the green.

We are happy to see that both parents and students at Davidson Elementary School shared our outrage and took active measures to overturn the ban. As reported in Davidson News:

Parents over the past two weeks have emailed the school, posted comments on this website and even launched an online petition drive questioning a decision by the school’s former principal to stop letting parents give their fifth-grade students permission to walk to the Village Green on Fridays.

Over 125 townspeople showed up to "Occupy the Green," with kids carrying signs that said, "Trust: It's a tradition" and "We can take care of ourselves."

The parents must now absolve the school of liability when granting their kids permission to walk to the Green, but as so aptly put by Lenore Skenazy of Free Range Kids, who helped us spread the word about the petition: "If a slightly obsessive, overkill waiver is what it takes to give kids back the best part of being fifth graders, so be it."

A parent told Davidson News, "It’s a victory for the people – and ice cream." And, we would add, a victory for unstructured outdoor play!

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