Jul 28, 2014

Gunpowder Elementary: 'We Didn't Take Away Rock-Paper-Scissors'

The Perry Hall elementary school principal responded to concerns over kids playing the popular hand game.

Gunpowder Elementary: 'We Didn't Take Away Rock-Paper-Scissors'

An incident in a Gunpowder Elementary School classroom over kids playing rock-paper-scissors had been "taken out of context," Principal Christine Smith said.

Perry Hall Patch columnist Stacey Schantz on Tuesday wrote that her child was reprimanded for playing rock-paper-scissors at school because the popular hand game involves saying the word, "shoot," which caused concerns among administrators. Schantz was volunteering at the school when administrators addressed the game with students.

Schantz wrote: "I agree that kids shouldn't be bringing weapons into school, and I want nothing more than to guarantee that my son is 100 percent safe the entire time he is in school. And yes, they are young enough to re-learn the game and say 'Rock-Paper-Scissors GO,' instead. But isn't this kind of ridiculous?"

The column——generated a passionate response from community members.

Smith confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that the incident occurred at Gunpowder Elementary School last month.

According to Smith, the school was reviewing school safety in September, in light of the Perry Hall High School shooting and other threats.

At the time, a kindergarten teacher was concerned about children smashing the hands of others while they played rock-paper-scissors. In response, the teacher discouraged the children from hurting each other and suggested replacing the word "shoot" with the word "go" in the game, according to Smith.

"The teacher suggested they change the word to another word. It was because they were hitting each other," Smith said.

Smith said that while speaking to the kindergarten class, she used the rock-paper-scissors incident as an example to promote school safety.

She emphasized that the school had not banned the game and no child had been formally disciplined for playing it.

Smith said the teacher's suggestion that children change the words was "innocent."

"We're not banning words. We didn't take away rock-paper-scissors," she added. "It's a popular children's game."

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