Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

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LaserGuy
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Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:33 pm UTC

A Toronto school has apparently banned soccer balls, volley balls, tennis balls, footballs, and any other type of "hard balls" from the playground. The only type of balls that will be allow are nerf balls or sponge balls.

Spoiler:
Date: Wednesday Nov. 16, 2011 7:00 AM ET

Citing safety concerns, an east-end Toronto school is banning students from playing with soccer balls, footballs, volleyballs or tennis balls in the schoolyard.

A letter issued on Monday, stated that students at Earl Beatty Jr. and Sr. Public School are not allowed to bring or play with any kind of hard ball.

"Any balls brought will be confiscated and may be retrieved by parents from the office," the statement said. "The only kind of ball allowed will be nerf balls or sponge balls."

Communications co-ordinator for the Toronto District School Board Zoya McGroarty said that the decision was made when concerns were brought forth by parents on the safety of the balls.

"The principal made a decision with the safety of students, staff and visitors in mind," she told CTV Toronto on Tuesday.

The letter had also mentioned that the school had some serious incidents where students, staff or parents were hit, or nearly hit, by a hard ball on school property.

McGroarty said that the ban is a temporary measure while the school monitors the situation.

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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby Chen » Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:41 pm UTC

I could maybe see justification for really hard balls like baseballs or cricket balls, since these are effectively spherical rocks in terms of damage potential. Even then it seems pretty absurd. But to push it to soccer balls and tennis balls? I really need to question whats wrong with some parents nowadays. Something like this back when I was in high school would have gotten the parents ridiculed by both the rest of the children's parents AND the administration.

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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby Decker » Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:41 pm UTC

I want to say something witty, but I'm just kind of sad about this.
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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby philsov » Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:16 pm UTC

The letter had also mentioned that the school had some serious incidents where students, staff or parents were hit, or nearly hit, by a hard ball on school property.


So... discipline the offenders?
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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby Dauric » Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:18 pm UTC

philsov wrote:
The letter had also mentioned that the school had some serious incidents where students, staff or parents were hit, or nearly hit, by a hard ball on school property.


So... discipline the offenders?


Absolutely not! That would cause the offenders to have self-esteem issues.

Yes this is sarcasm
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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby JBJ » Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:20 pm UTC

Next week's story -
An east Toronto school has now banned Nerf-style sponge balls after students discovered that a medium sized sponge ball can hold nearly 1L of water giving it nearly twice the mass of a standard soccer ball. The new game of "Splash Dodgeball" has resulted in numerous injuries.
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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby icanus » Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:24 pm UTC

So I guess I'm the only person who thinks that (depending on the nature of the school's grounds) this might be an entirely reasonable restriction? I've worked in plenty of schools where the outside area is unsuitable for ball games, either because it's too small, contains a busy path, or is surrounded by windows.

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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:30 pm UTC

icanus wrote:So I guess I'm the only person who thinks that (depending on the nature of the school's grounds) this might be an entirely reasonable restriction? I've worked in plenty of schools where the outside area is unsuitable for ball games, either because it's too small, contains a busy path, or is surrounded by windows.


This is what their grounds apparently look like (Google Maps). It looks to me like they have a fairly decent-sized greenspace, and are well-separated from neighbouring properties.

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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby icanus » Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:35 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:This is what their grounds apparently look like (Google Maps). It looks to me like they have a fairly decent-sized greenspace, and are well-separated from neighbouring properties.

Fair enough then. Proceed with the outrage...

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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby nitePhyyre » Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:10 pm UTC

icanus wrote:So I guess I'm the only person who thinks that (depending on the nature of the school's grounds) this might be an entirely reasonable restriction? I've worked in plenty of schools where the outside area is unsuitable for ball games, either because it's too small, contains a busy path, or is surrounded by windows.
Also, if there were any *real* reasons (reason along the lines of what you are talking about), then the principal would have mentioned them, not just hinted at vague types of general safety concerns.

Also, if, because of surroundings, not allowing kids to play is a reasonable restriction, then the school was placed in an unreasonable area to begin with.

Sure, nerf is safer than non-nerf, but how safe do we have to be? I'm pretty sure it is impossible to receive any serious or permanent damage from a soccer, volley or tennis balls. You might be able to poke an eye out with a football. You can probably poke an eye out with a nerf football, too. Seriously, how safe do we have to be?

edit: On the other hand, if the school distributed a bunch of nerf guns, that would be awesome! Best recess ever. Have you guys seen the modern nerf guns? They have nerf gattling guns, nerf sniper rifles, nerf rocket launchers.
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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby Jessica » Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:20 pm UTC

I think google street view gives a better impression of what the area looks like. It looks much smaller from that angle.

nitePhyyre wrote:I'm pretty sure it is impossible to receive any serious or permanent damage from a soccer, volley or tennis balls.
Tennis balls can cause severe eye damage, soccer balls can cause concussions. It's not likely, but it is possible.
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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby kiklion » Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:27 pm UTC

depends on definition of serious. Soccerballs to the groin or back of your head hurt. When I was a little kid I was knocked out for a bit because when practicing headers (I was maybe 8) I didn't use my forehead. I got under the ball and let it hit me right on top. (Coach punted it high)

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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby faranim » Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:37 pm UTC

Does this affect monitored play like during gym/P.E. Class? I could see this being reasonable if the ban only applied to open recess periods where the students are basically let loose outside to do whatever they wanted (I had this in elementary school, not sure if all schools have recess like that anymore).

I would think it hard for Gym/P.E. class to work without being able to teach/play soccer, volley ball, basketball, etc.

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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby Chen » Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:38 pm UTC

Jessica wrote:I think google street view gives a better impression of what the area looks like. It looks much smaller from that angle.


The street view still makes it look like a fairly large area I'd say.

Tennis balls can cause severe eye damage, soccer balls can cause concussions. It's not likely, but it is possible.


Agreed that while some of those banned items could cause some sort of damage, its unlikely (especially considering the strength of the small children who would be throwing them).

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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby nothinglikeit22 » Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:41 pm UTC

that's a little more than half a US football field, which is plenty of room for multiple ball based games. and its far enough away from the school to limit window accidents to almost nothing.

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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby Dauric » Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:51 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:edit: On the other hand, if the school distributed a bunch of nerf guns, that would be awesome! Best recess ever. Have you guys seen the modern nerf guns? They have nerf gattling guns, nerf sniper rifles, nerf rocket launchers.


There's also the battery-powered belt-fed machinegun.

Look up "Nerf War" for information on clubs of adults playing with Nerf (and Nerf-like) guns, modding nerf guns or even building your own.
(Just my luck they're mostly on the east and west coasts... damn western sensibilities. Apparently there used to be one in Boulder, until the college campus banned Nerf guns, 'cause apparently neon blue and yellow looks so much like a real gun...

Back OT: The thing is while it's -technically- true that Nerf and Nerf-like balls are safer than the traditional manufacture, I think there's validity in questioning the idea that we should be treating children like they're made of glass.

After all we should teach them that victory goes to the most timid, most risk averse, and those who waste their time trying to prevent every adversity... Or, y'know, maybe not.
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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby Diadem » Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:32 pm UTC

the article wrote:soccer balls, footballs

Americans; I will never understand them ;)
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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:38 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:
the article wrote:soccer balls, footballs

Americans Canadians; I will never understand them ;)

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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby Diadem » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:17 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
Diadem wrote:
the article wrote:soccer balls, footballs

Americans Canadians; I will never understand them ;)

Yes. Torontonians even. However I fail to see the relevance. Are you trying to say that only Canadians do this, and not other Americans?
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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby Dauric » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:32 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:
Diadem wrote:
the article wrote:soccer balls, footballs

Americans Canadians; I will never understand them ;)

Yes. Torontonians even. However I fail to see the relevance. Are you trying to say that only Canadians do this, and not other Americans?


... Canadians aren't "Other Americans".

Actually many Canadians get upset at the idea that they're nothing but an extension of the U.S.
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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:29 pm UTC

Jessica wrote:
nitePhyyre wrote:I'm pretty sure it is impossible to receive any serious or permanent damage from a soccer, volley or tennis balls.
Tennis balls can cause severe eye damage, soccer balls can cause concussions. It's not likely, but it is possible.

Out of curiosity, so what? If you're worried about eye or head trauma, don't play tennis or soccer.
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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby Diadem » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:30 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:
Diadem wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:
Diadem wrote:
the article wrote:soccer balls, footballs

Americans Canadians; I will never understand them ;)

Yes. Torontonians even. However I fail to see the relevance. Are you trying to say that only Canadians do this, and not other Americans?

... Canadians aren't "Other Americans".

Obviously not. If someone says "X and not Y" that implies that X is not Y.

Anyway, before this gets even more surreal, let's stop being obtuse. You and Heisenberg seem to be claiming that Canadians are not Americans. You're wrong. Canada is in America. I know some Canadians don't like being called American, but I've always considered that a weird attitude. Saying Canadians aren't Americans in fact seems rather rude. You're denying their very existence.
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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby Radical_Initiator » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:35 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:Anyway, before this gets even more surreal, let's stop being obtuse. You and Heisenberg seem to be claiming that Canadians are not Americans. You're wrong. Canada is in America. It's rather insulting towards Canadians to say they are not Americans.


I dunno. I think they're biding their time until the invasion. Roughly 80% of the population lives within 150 km of the border? I'm sure that people living in Detroit and the Upper Peninsula, if they concentrate very hard, can hear the faint sound of ice skates being sharpened at night. One day, mark my words, we will wake up to air filled with the scent of Tim Horton's coffee (better than napalm in the morning) in our nostrils and the sounds of Anne Murray or Bryan Adams over loudspeakers as the justified battle-cry of Celine Dion marks the first wave. And when that black rain of hockey pucks descends on us, we will know the meaning of fear, eh?
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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby Dark567 » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:37 pm UTC

Diadem wrote: It's rather insulting towards Canadians to say they are not Americans.
I doubt it. Most of the time when you are talking about the continents inhabitants, its specifically stated as "North American's". "American" as term usually refers to people in the US, mostly because its too hard to come up with another term(there was a time where Columbians would have also been appropriate, but that fell inot disuse about 100 years ago). Yes the term "American" can refer to anyone from the America's, but that's almost certainly the secondary meaning of the term.
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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby Vieto » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:14 am UTC

It's rather insulting that you guys are debating whether we are insulted at being called Americans or not being called Americans. Quite frankly, USA is the dysfunctional 4th territory we visit in winter. :p

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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby Steax » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:21 am UTC

LaserGuy wrote:McGroarty said that the ban is a temporary measure while the school monitors the situation.


They're deciding whether or not to ban balls based on how it works on... when there are no balls? "Monitors the situation"? If no balls are allowed, then how are they going to judge if they're an actual threat or not?
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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby Diadem » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:22 am UTC

Vieto wrote:It's rather insulting that you guys are debating whether we are insulted at being called Americans or not being called Americans. Quite frankly, USA is the dysfunctional 4th territory we visit in winter. :p

Well I did ninja-edit my post from "is insulting" to "seems rude" for precisely that reason. I just didn't ninja edit fast enough.

I'm curious though how Canadians see this.
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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby Greyarcher » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:58 am UTC

Eh, I could stab someone quite well with a pencil back then. In fact, I think someone in my...grade two class?...did stab someone else in the hand with a pencil. Banning those balls is lazy nonsense.

And yup, calling Canadians "Americans" is pretty unusual. Sure, technically anyone in North and South America could be called "American". But I almost always hear it as the short-form for USA folks.

They have a dearth of good possible abbreviations. I mean, what, USers? Statesers?

Radical_Initiator wrote:I dunno. I think they're biding their time until the invasion. Roughly 80% of the population lives within 150 km of the border? I'm sure that people living in Detroit and the Upper Peninsula, if they concentrate very hard, can hear the faint sound of ice skates being sharpened at night.
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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby EmptySet » Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:12 am UTC

"Any balls brought will be confiscated and may be retrieved by parents from the office," the statement said.


That seems rather hard on the male students.

Steax wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:McGroarty said that the ban is a temporary measure while the school monitors the situation.


They're deciding whether or not to ban balls based on how it works on... when there are no balls? "Monitors the situation"? If no balls are allowed, then how are they going to judge if they're an actual threat or not?


See if rates of injury and property damage fall substantially after the ban?

Diadem wrote:Anyway, before this gets even more surreal, let's stop being obtuse. You and Heisenberg seem to be claiming that Canadians are not Americans. You're wrong. Canada is in America. I know some Canadians don't like being called American, but I've always considered that a weird attitude. Saying Canadians aren't Americans in fact seems rather rude. You're denying their very existence.


Saying Canadians are not Americans is recognition of the fact that in most English-speaking regions "America" is a shortened form of "the United States of America", whereas the continent Canada is on would be referred to as "North America" or part of "the Americas". If you call Canadians "American", most will assume you think Canada is part of the USA and get offended. Insisting that they are "American" on a technicality is like giving a number in newtons instead of kilograms when the doctor asks you your weight - it might be technically correct, but it's still horrible communication for the sake of you trying to look smart.

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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby Kulantan » Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:29 am UTC

My dickhead-student-sense is telling me that it is likely that some students had worked out that you could propel a ball toward a teacher or other victim from a fair distance with relative anonymity.

If not, then yeah "health and safety gone mad", but I wouldn't jump straight to that conclusion.
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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby Lucrece » Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:38 am UTC

In which case they can bring a slingshot or use a rock and still remain anonymous.
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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby Qaanol » Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:37 am UTC

Guys what about doorknobs? Those can cause serious injury, especially to children.

Also, doors. They are hard and have sharp corners. Don’t forget corners of walls as well, and of course plain walls themselves are dangerous too. This school is
not doing enough to protect its students.

Chen wrote:
Jessica wrote:I think google street view gives a better impression of what the area looks like. It looks much smaller from that angle.


The street view still makes it look like a fairly large area I'd say.

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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby Djehutynakht » Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:42 am UTC

Reminds me of the Canadian schools that recently banned super-hero and star-wars costumes because they implied a violent nature. "We're turning Halloween into a holiday of caring".


I'm for progressiveness.... but this is absolute regressiveness. Someone needs to stop these people.

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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby Steax » Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:18 am UTC

EmptySet wrote:
Steax wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:McGroarty said that the ban is a temporary measure while the school monitors the situation.


They're deciding whether or not to ban balls based on how it works on... when there are no balls? "Monitors the situation"? If no balls are allowed, then how are they going to judge if they're an actual threat or not?


See if rates of injury and property damage fall substantially after the ban?


That works if they're not sure if the balls were causing injury and property damage. If it's a known cause, and they remove it, obviously the injury rates will fall. It's like, "we're going to ban bungee jumping temporarily, unless people keep dying, in which case it'll prove that it wasn't the bungee's fault and we'll un-ban them."
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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby scarecrovv » Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:29 am UTC

Pencils are sharp and could therefore be used to stab people. Clearly, the correct solution is to abolish all pointy writing implements and issue finger paint to all students. Be sure it's #2 finger paint, so they can fill in their scan-tron sheets appropriately.

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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby folkhero » Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:33 am UTC

If this measure was a sort of temporary punishment if students were using balls as weapons more than sporting equipment. But the idea that a soccer ball is too inherently dangerous for kids to play with is, obviously, pretty silly.

That works if they're not sure if the balls were causing injury and property damage. If it's a known cause, and they remove it, obviously the injury rates will fall. It's like, "we're going to ban bungee jumping temporarily, unless people keep dying, in which case it'll prove that it wasn't the bungee's fault and we'll un-ban them."
Not if people stop bungee jumping and take up skydiving instead. Anything kids do on the playground (aside from calmly sitting and talking which isn't the point of recess) might end up with an injury; they might do something more dangerous than soccer and injury rates could rise.
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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby scarecrovv » Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:37 am UTC

folkhero wrote:...they might do something more dangerous than soccer and injury rates could rise.

I propose that the children take up gladiatorial combat until they are able to play soccer again. This would have the added benefit of reducing the overcrowding problem in classrooms.

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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby Kulantan » Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:51 am UTC

Lucrece wrote:In which case they can bring a slingshot or use a rock and still remain anonymous.

I will bet you a dollar that slingshots are already banned. I would also bet that it is harder to punish kids who say that they were just kicking a ball around and then someone missed accidently with regrettable consequences. It is much harder to convince folk that you accidently threw a rock at a teacher.
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Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby Steax » Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:19 am UTC

folkhero wrote:
That works if they're not sure if the balls were causing injury and property damage. If it's a known cause, and they remove it, obviously the injury rates will fall. It's like, "we're going to ban bungee jumping temporarily, unless people keep dying, in which case it'll prove that it wasn't the bungee's fault and we'll un-ban them."
Not if people stop bungee jumping and take up skydiving instead. Anything kids do on the playground (aside from calmly sitting and talking which isn't the point of recess) might end up with an injury; they might do something more dangerous than soccer and injury rates could rise.


The conclusion to that being that reckless kids and reckless anyway. Either they prove that their kids are madmen (in which case they won't give back rights to the balls, just ban whatever other thing they use next), or they prove that it was indeed the balls' fault, and they also continue banning them.

I honestly feel sorry for the kids.

"Son, you can't play soccer, it's dangerous. In my days, we weren't allowed to play soccer. It could hit people on the head. And that's bad."
In Minecraft, I use the username Rirez.

mike-l
Posts: 2758
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2007 2:16 am UTC

Re: Toronto School is Now Nerf-Only

Postby mike-l » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:43 pm UTC

Usually with this kind of thing it's because there is some kind of chronic student misbehaviour that they're having trouble enforcing, so they ban the tools under the guise of safety. My favorite instance of this was a teacher banning mechanical pencils, because a certain model was being used for spitballs. It probably won't last.

If they really do think soccer balls are a major safety concern, I'm very confused by their logic. I've heard of banning hardballs, and that makes a modicum of sense, but this is pretty clearly way over the top.

Also on the Canadians are American things, I personally find it pretty insulting to be called an American. You can call me North American if you want, but Americans undoubtable refers to people from the USA, even if you feel other people are technically american (linguistically).
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