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June 19, 2013

Dodgeball returns to Windham

School board relents on 'human target' game ban

(Continued)

She also stressed that the sponge balls used in such games keep students safe.

“We don’t typically have injuries in Nerf-ball games,” Shirley said.

Shirley, responding to concerns raised by board members that some students are uncomfortable with the human-target games, acknowledged as much, but also said they are uncomfortable with other activities, such as serving at volleyball, batting in softball or dissecting in the lab.

Dennis Senibaldi, the only board member to oppose the ban from the beginning, thanked Shirley for those examples.

“That’s what people need to understand,” Senibaldi told Shirley.

Golden Brook School assistant principal Rory O’Connor said games with names suggesting violent character would be renamed. One example: Slaughter will become Numero Uno.

Superintendent Henry LaBranche said he would inform schools of the board’s decision to restore the games and begin a comprehensive review of the physical education curriculum.

“I think it is time for this district to move onto a 21st-century curriculum,” LaBranche said.

In other business, resident Dick Forde’s proposal that the school district start an adult education program was referred by the board to administrators for consideration.

“My idea is to start a night school program for adult studies,” Forde said.

He suggested there could be classes in cooking or foreign languages.

Officials agreed it is worth exploring, but cautioned about potential costs and other considerations.

The Windham Soccer Association, meanwhile, told school officials they will donate two goals for the Middle School soccer field. A hearing will be scheduled next month because the value of the goals exceeds $5,000, but the board expressed thanks and indicated they will accept them.

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