Why is the United States Post Office destroying these Michelle-Obama-inspired “Just Move” stamps?
Give up? Here’s the reason, according to Postal Blog:
With the Just Move! stamp issuance the U.S. Postal Service hoped to raise awareness about the importance of physical activity in achieving a healthy lifestyle. However, according to Linns Stamp News, the USPS will be destroying the entire press run after receiving concerns from the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition over alleged “unsafe” acts depicted on three of the stamps (cannonball dive, skateboarding without kneepads, and a headstand without a helmet). (There’s also a batter without a batting helmet, a girl balancing on a slippery rock, and a soccer player without kneepads or shin pads.)
Michael Graham comments:
Thousands if dollars (if not more) the USPS doesn’t have, all so kids won’t see a cartoon image of a boy doing the cannonball or a girl balancing on a “slippery rock.”
Lenore Skenazy at Free Range Kids asked her readers to guess why the stamps were deemed too dangerous to issue. Some of their responses:
None of the kids are carrying water bottles!
Because they lack mouths and noses and eyes and therefore they should all be intubated and in the ICU?
I think I can see the top of the head belonging to a child sexual predator in the Stretch stamp.
The swimmer has no life jacket.
Juggling choking hazards!
.00000000000000001% of the population might get aroused from seeing these images of cartoon kids wearing shorts and bathing suits, which would put ALL kids in danger.
That girl is going to hang herself with the jump rope.
The climber needs a full OSHA-approved high work safety harness and three spotters.
It is because their parents aren’t in the picture watching their every move?
Matt Walsh delivered a rant on the “safety first” obsession on his blog. Excerpt:
Safety should always be a consideration, but I’m not sure that it should ever be your primary concern. Yet we’ve increasingly adopted this catchphrase and it’s had exactly the sort of impact that you’d expect. “Safety First” is the most damaging exactly where it’s the most common: in the realm of child-raising; in the schools, in the daycares, at home. Gone are the days of teaching children to take healthy and rational risks; of encouraging them to run and jump and climb trees; of embracing their rough and tumble nature, particularly among young boys. Instead we’ve put Safety First, and now we have a generation of lazy, gelatinous couch potatoes — but at least they’re safe!
The latest from the Safety First front has the internet in quite a tizzy today: Weber Middle School in Long Island joined the War on Recess, and they’re coming out with the big guns. They’ve instituted a ban on footballs, baseballs, soccer balls, lacrosse balls; any sort of hard ball that might bump a precious child and cause a small bruise or skin abrasions of some sort. They’ve also outlawed tag and cartwheels, unless supervised. (Side note: somebody please start an indie band and call it The Supervised Cartwheels). The emergency room director at the local hospital has endorsed the move. He claims that he’s seen an uptick in “head injuries, bumps, scrapes.”
This, of course, leads one the following question: Who the hell brings their child to the emergency room for a bump or a scrape? We like to blame the schools for this sort of madness — Lord knows, I’m never hesitant to assign them their portion of the guilt when they deserve it — but the schools generally aren’t the ones shipping kids to the ER for a scraped knee. The schools also don’t sue themselves when Johnny falls off the swing and sprains his wrist. The schools aren’t instituting these policies because they want to; they’re doing it because the public forces them into it. Why are those kids brought to the hospital for minor dents and dings? Because Mommy and Daddy see an opportunity to turn a profit. It’s the same reason someone goes to the doctor for “whiplash” after a minor fender bender. They’re building their case for the impending lawsuit.
It’s hard for me to stomach some of the “let my child play dodge ball at recess!” hysteria, because we all know that half of the people screaming it wouldn’t hesitate to contact a lawyer should their pumpkin come off the dodge ball court with a broken nose. I’ve spoken to many daycare providers, and almost all of them have banned most forms of physical exertion among the children they supervise. Why? Are they conspiring to make our kids fat and slow? Or could it be that most of them also have horror stories about almost losing their home and business after some kid with litigious parents accidentally fell and bumped his head during Activity Time?
We can’t run around looking to sue everything that moves, and then become indignant when everyone around us starts to take a bit of a defensive posture. I just read another story recently about another school removing their swing sets. The parents and students rallied around the forsaken playground equipment and accused the school administrators of being Joyless Scrooges. Notice, they didn’t direct any of their ire at the people actually responsible for the travesty: the parents who sued them for having such a “dangerous” apparatus on their property. Are the schools supposed to risk bankruptcy for the sake of recess games and playground furnishings? I wouldn’t. I believe in standing on principle, but I’m not going to sacrifice my livelihood just to defend the honor of kickball.
WARNING: GEEZER RANT ALERT! I grew up during the paleolithic era, when it was expected that kids would play outside most of the time, that we would climb trees (and occasionally fall out of them), that we would ride bikes (and occasionally fall off of them), and that we would all get plenty of bumps and bruises and scratches and scrapes, along with the occasional chipped tooth. Being a pretty average kid, I had my share of these injuries, and never once was I taken to the emergency room. And it would never even have occurred to any parent to sue the school or the city over a child’s injuries; accidents were just things that happened, and you dealt with it. Not coincidentally, I can count on one finger the number of kids in my class at school who were overweight — something to think about in these oh-so-modern-and-enlightened times, when obesity is the number one health problem plaguing American kids.