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Kindergarten "actively discourage(s) all role play"
Posted by WJWalton on Sun 28 of Nov., 2010 05:00 PST
It's another example of how Satanic Panic is still alive and well in some places: the principal of a kindergarten in Melbourne, Australia has not only banned role play among its students, he is encouraging parents of their students to back them up by doing the same at home.

A MELBOURNE kinder has banned children from Harry Potter, Pokemon and Power Rangers paraphernalia for "spiritual reasons" and told parents not to let their boys and girls play with toys associated with their fantasy heroes at home.

In a letter to parents, Waverley Christian College principal Peter Sheahan labelled the kinder a "war-free zone" and banned all items associated with the popular children's programs as well as toy guns, swords and weapons.

"For this reason we actively discourage all role play such as Power Rangers," he wrote to parents.

"For spiritual reasons, all Pokemon and Harry Potter items are not considered appropriate, including toys, clothing, drink bottles etc.

"Please help us by backing this up at home."

Victorian Parents Council spokeswoman Christine Delamore said the directive "went too far".

"Schools have a right to have policies that apply in the school yard, but don't try and tell parents what to do in their own home," she said."It's interfering, it's over-stepping the mark.

Mr Sheahan did not return phone calls from the Sunday Herald Sun.

Forest Hill Liberal candidate Neil Angus, chairman of the independent inter-denominational school in Wantirna South, said he did not have a view on the issue.

Role-play - including "war games" with swords and guns - is an important part of child development. It helps us build our personality, cope with our fears and other trials of life, and learn who we truly are. There are certainly some children who should not role play unsupervised due to personal mental or emotional issues, but banning the activity outright will not create or exacerbate these issues - it will only delay their detection.

On top of that, this ban could encourage the mistaken notion that any kind of role play is always wrong. The school is certainly within its rights to ban any activity they choose, but this is lazy, irresponsible, and superstitious, and the children attending this school deserve much more.

See the original article here.

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