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M.T. Davidson Public School Is Working To Ban Cartwheels

Sima Shakeri
A child does a cartwheel in a field.

A northern Ontario school is proposing a ban on cartwheels to the dismay of many parents.

M.T. Davidson Public School, in Callander — a town near North Bay, has released a draft of their new playground rules for this school year.

Cartwheeling is on the list of banned activities.

The school's principal, Todd Gribbon, told BayToday the proposed ban was to ensure student safety.

"We want to make the school as safe a place as possible. There's potential for a concussion, wrist or neck injuries when students are performing these acts without proper supervision. So that's what the thinking was around the cartwheel," he said.

But some parents disagree with the ban.

Stephanie Balen, one of the parents opposing the new rules, told the North Bay Nugget that banning cartwheels could lead to further bans.

"If we ban cartwheels, what's next? What about track and field or Jump Rope for Heart? All these activities pose a safety risk for kids," she said. "School is a time when children can express themselves, but rules like this are only prohibiting and limiting."

We want to make the school as safe a place as possible. There's potential for a concussion, wrist or neck injuries when students are performing these acts without proper supervision. Todd Gribbon, principal

The Near North District School Board said in a press release that student safety remains one of their top priorities, according to CBC News. It notes how other schools in Ontario have also "cautioned students against certain gymnastic moves that may cause injury when done without the presence of proper conditions and adequate supervision."

Gribbon said M. T. Davidson did not report any cartwheel-related injuries, according to BayToday. But he did tell the outlet that another person in the school board hurt themselves doing cartwheels.

"We've had other injuries like sprains and so forth, falling as students were running, things like that. I know there was an injury last year at a school in the board, someone was performing cartwheels and damaged their leg pretty severely."

The safe school advisory committee is set to meet on Oct. 2 to review the school handbook, including the new rules, Postmedia reported.

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