The moral problem is that dodgeball encourages students to aggressively single others out for dominance, and to enjoy that dominance as a victory
The problem is actually much worse. In white majority countries, it should be noted that the majority of successful teams include mostly white players. Research has indicated that there is a correlation between whiteness and white supremacy.
The games children play in schoolyards are famously horrible, if you stop and think about them.
Tag, for example, singles out one poor participant, often the slowest child, as the dehumanized “It,” who runs vainly in pursuit of the quicker ones. Capture the Flag is nakedly militaristic. British Bulldog has obvious jingoistic colonial themes. Red Ass, known in America as Butts Up, involves deliberate imposition of corporal punishment on losers.
This is absolutely true. Every children’s game in the Western World is about preparing our youth for war, and for ways to oppress marginalized people. These are specific examples that need to be exposed and stamped out.
Contrast with the above photos #2 and #3. This shows tolerant Muslims and the richness that diversity brings us.
But none rouse the passions of reform-minded educational progressives quite like dodgeball, the team sport in which players throw balls at each other, trying to hit their competitors and banish them to the sidelines of shame.
Not only is this traumatizing for the children, but rarely, if ever, do dodgeball competitions hand out “participation trophies”. How will the children cope with that?
When the Canadian Society for the Study of Education meets in Vancouver at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, a trio of education theorists will argue that dodgeball is not only problematic, in the modern sense of displaying hierarchies of privilege based on athletic skill, but that it is outright “miseducative.”
Naïve parents will argue that kids are just kids, and they are just releasing their excess energy. But this completely misses the point. Most serial killers and rapists have played dodgeball at some point in their lives. Are we breeding the next generation?
Experts agree, that we need to replace the Canadian population as an immediate measure to mitigate the effects anti-social behaviour as caused by dodgeball.
Dodgeball is not just unhelpful to the development of kind and gentle children who will become decent citizens of a liberal democracy. It is actively harmful to this process, they say.
These citizens also need to be aware that playing dodgeball is physical activity. Physical activity leads to heavy breathing, which leads to increased CO2 output. HELLO! We signed the Paris Accord for a reason. Do you want the Earth to heat up just so Little Johnny can get first place?
As Butler’s abstract describes it, those “faces” are “marginalization, powerlessness, and helplessness of those perceived as weaker individuals through the exercise of violence and dominance by those who are considered more powerful.” Young’s list of these fundamental types of oppression also includes exploitation and cultural domination.
Nations like Canada have demonstrated themselves to be an extremely welcoming place. And we shouldn’t jeopardize that just so some 11 year old can go “goose-stepping” and throw balls at other children.
For teachers trying to foster the virtues of caring and inclusion, on this view, dodgeball is counterproductive. Sport can teach ethical behaviour and give students the chance to practise it and, in this sense, it is important training for citizens in a democracy.
Of course this is true. Being part of the global democracy, is vital for all citizens of the planet.
Fun for fun’s sake is good, Burns said, but when a teacher is formally telling students rules for a game, fun can also reinforce behavioural patterns, for good or ill. The moral problem with dodgeball, he said, is that it encourages students to aggressively single others out for dominance, and to enjoy that exclusion and dominance as a victory.
One day they are throwing rubber balls at each other. The next they are perpetuating the next Holocaust. The connection is plain and obvious.