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Belleville and Kingston schools don't join ban on balls

by Laine Sedore

Students in the Belleville and Kingston area can still bring their balls to school.

Earlier this week Earl Beatty Public School in Toronto banned the use of most balls on the schoolyard. Students were told to leave their soccer balls, footballs, baseballs and tennis balls at home after a mother suffered a concussion from being hit in the head with a soccer ball.

Richard Holmes, supervising principal of human resources for the Limestone District School Board, said the size of the schoolyard is factor when making the decision.

“Certainly a lot of factors go into play, one would be the size of your schoolyard. If you have a large area like a football field where students that are playing football are playing football in that area and they don’t have to worry about hurting other students that are sharing the same yard,” he said

Lynn Wallace, superintendent of school effectiveness at the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board, said injuries on the schoolyard happen.

“Students do get hurt on playgrounds, is it a cause where you have to ban everything, I’m not sure, it’s often difficult because you don’t know scenarios that lead up to the events,” she said.

Wallace said that an overall ban is excessive.

“Generally our kids tend to play with the equipment appropriately and it would be hard pressed to believe that an overall ban should necessarily have to take place,” she said. “I think staff and parents can work together to decide what’s most appropriate for their school.”

An overall ban would not be out of the question for the Limestone School Board said Holmes.

“Hopefully you don’t have to go down that route, ultimately if there was an issue and there was concern that may be something we’d have to take a look at. But certainly at this point and time that hasn’t been an issue,” he said.

Holmes said using hard balls in gym class is different than using them in the schoolyard.

“I would hope that they would be able to use them in gym class because it’s more of a controlled situation. So if you were having gym outside for example, there would be no other students around or other people to get injured and therefore you can control the situation a little bit better,” he said.

Wallace said a lot of discussion would have to take place before considering an overall ban at the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board.

“An overall ban is not something that we would support, unless there was some specific reasons as to why that should take place and that would have to be discussed with the parent community,” she said.