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Dodgeball eliminated at Windham, NH schools

2:43 PM, Mar 28, 2013   |    comments
Photo courtesy of WHDH
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WINDHAM, N.H. (WHDH) -- Dodgeball and other "target" games are being eliminated in physical education classes at Windham, New Hampshire schools as part of an anti-bullying program.

"I have children who say, 'I'm really not interested in throwing the ball at another student in my class,'" said Superintendent Dr. Henry LaBranche.

The school board voted four to one last week to ban dodgeball and other games they describe as "human target" games; games where a player tries to hit an opponent with a ball. They also say the games cross the line on bullying.

"As a mandatory part of the curriculum, we need to take a look at this," Superintendent LaBranche said. "I don't know that 11, 12-year-old youngsters have to learn that lesson at this point in time. I think that maybe there would be another way our curriculum ought to be addressing health, physical fitness, wellness and nutrition besides getting hit by a ball."

7News spoke with the school board member who wanted to keep dodgeball.

"To me, just outright banning an entire class because one person complained isn't right. It's dodgeball. It's as American as apple pie," said Dennis Senibaldi.

Before the vote, dodgeball was a mandatory sport in gym class in Windham. It's now a voluntary sport only to be played for charity events or other voluntary sporting events.

WHDH