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Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes

Updated Aug 26, 2013 - 7:00 pm

Schools need to end the war on boys

For many parts of the Valley, the school year is up and running.

It's a tough time for our kids. Think about all of the social anxieties that they face at the onset of a new school year. Yet every year, the kids jump right in and overcome these anxieties without administrative intervention. For most kids, renewing friendships and fostering new ones has always been the first priority.

For the girls, I have NO clue how this is done. I defer to my wife on matters dealing with our 8-year-old daughter. But for the boys, I know exactly how this plays out.

Males are pack animals. We like to quickly assemble, establish leadership and get on to the business of playing cool games. Cool games like dodgeball, "Cowboys and Indians," "Cops and Robbers" or tug-of-war.

Wait, what? We can't play these games anymore? What's zero-tolerance?

Zero-tolerance has been making headlines from coast-to-coast. In Virginia, a boy was suspended from school for using a pencil to "shoot" a bad guy. How about the Colorado boy who was suspended for throwing an IMAGINARY hand grenade at bad guys to save the world...or playground?

This nonsense has to stop. Can't we let boys build friendships and bonds the way, well, boys do? Gun play is a time-honored playground tradition and one of the most effective ways to bond. It would teach us competition and teamwork. If we were feeling confident, we might even invite a cute girl to play along as the damsel in distress. There was nothing more empowering to a young man than slaying the villains, throwing the young princess on the back of your imaginary horse and riding off into the sunset.

So if the liberal crybabies have taken "War," "Cops and Robbers," "Cowboys and Indians" and imaginary hand grenades from our boys, at least they still have dodgeball.

Wait, no dodgeball? I give up!

Dodgeball is the best life lesson from the playground. You take one shot to the head after another, get back up, dust yourself off, grab another ball and attack. The strong survive and the weak join the French Club.

Schools need to stop taking the fun out of being a boy. Period!

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About the Author

Mike Russell is KTAR's resident outdoorsman. His passion for the outdoors is the engine behind KTAR's hit show Get Outdoors with Mike Russell. Get Outdoors focuses on the world of hunting, fishing, camping and conservation. Mike's special features, The Outdoor Minute and the KTAR Timeline, can be heard each weekday on two of Arizona's highest rated shows, Arizona's Morning News and Arizona's Evening News. Mike hurries home each night to his amazing wife of 11 years, Jodi, and their two children Jillian (9) and John (7). His 95 pound puppy, Champ, is always there to greet him as well. The thought of loading up the truck for some fishing, hunting and camping keeps Mike motivated throughout the week. When he can't hit the lake or get out on a hunt, well, let's just say that none of us want to see that.


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