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No Touching Rule At Coghlan Elementary Angers Mom

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Coghlan Fundamental Elementary School in Aldergrove has outlawed any physical contact among kindergarteners
Coghlan Fundamental Elementary School in Aldergrove has outlawed any physical contact among kindergarteners

Kindergarten students at Coghlan Fundamental Elementary School in Aldergrove will have to learn how to play no-touch tag after administrators instituted a rule against any physical contact.

Julie Chen was packing her daughter's lunch on Monday when she read a letter from the school warning that any contact among students, be it tag, "Star Wars games," or even holding hands would result in kids being sent to the office, The Province reported.

"When I saw no hands-on would be allowed, I just got mad, I got so upset," Chen told the newspaper. "What is happening in our society when our kids aren't even allowed to be kids anymore?"

The zero-tolerance policy, which only targets kindergarten students, has come as a result of injuries endured on school grounds that have "impacted the safety of all of the children outside," the letter stated.

Coghlan Elementary principal Barb Dayco defended the policy in an interview with CBC News, saying that even the rule against holding hands is necessary for the safety of kindergarten kids.

"The hand-holding it can be positive and it can be negative," she said. "We wanted to teach them how to make contact in a positive way. Not to grab someone's hand and drag them along, but to hold their hand in a positive way."

As a fundamental school, Coghlan Elementary has stricter rules than other institutions, but Chen still feels that a no-touching policy goes too far.

Ken Hoff, a spokesman for School District 35, which includes Coghlan Elementary, said that the policy simply responds to parents' complaints about rough play, adding that students won't face harsh penalties if they accidentally touch each other, CTV News reported.

Full transcript of the letter sent to parents of students at Coghlan Fundamental Elementary School in Aldergrove, which was obtained by CBC News:

"Dear Kindergarten Families,

"Over the past couple of weeks during outside play time, we have had a number of injuries as a result of various games and types of hands-on play. This has impacted the safety of all of the children outside.

"Consequently, we have unfortunately had to ban all forms of hands-on play for the immediate future. This includes tag, holding hands, and any and all imaginary fighting games. 'Star Wars' games have been particularly difficult for the Kindergarten children to remember to keep their hands to themselves. We will have a zero-tolerance policy with regards to hands-on play, resulting in the missing of playtime and trips to the office for those who are unable to follow the rules.

"If you could please help to remind your child about keeping his or her hands to themselves, and reinforce other imaginary games (rather than fighting gamse) it would really help us to get the message across.

"We really appreciate your cooperation and support in this matter."

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