The Melbourne primary school which nurtured Australian cricketing legend Shane Warne has sparked outrage after slapping a ban on balls.
Black Rock Primary School in Bayside has banned its pupils from running, playing, throwing or bouncing balls of any kind before and after the school day.
The new rule has left some parents stunned and drawn criticism from AFL boss Andrew Demetriou who branded the move 'bloody stupid'.
"It's obscene, absurd, in my view and I'm sure the view of many people is we need sport of any type in our primary schools for our children, tackling childhood obesity," Demetriou told Fairfax Radio."I just think it's over-regulation, and I actually fear if we're going to go down that track, because we just need our children participating in sport. It's important for the wellbeing of this nation."
But principal Julie Luiten has defended the ban saying it will prevent children from getting hurt or knocked over when the playground is at its busiest.
She told Seven News only last week a toddler was hit by a ball in the school yard.
"We have a large school with nearly 600 students. At pick up and drop off times we have more than 1,000 people, including parents and toddlers, in the school yard," she said.
"Children should not be running around and kicking balls.
"The safety of our students and their families is our number one concern."
Parents were informed of the rules in the latest newsletter and some are not happy.
Parent Nigel Chamberlain branded the move 'extreme'.
"Sometimes the rules go above and beyond, and children don't get the chance to be children these days," he said.
"You take balls out of school...what else do you start banning?"
But others, including some pupils, agreed with the school's new policy.
Parent Jo Selman said: "There's kids everywhere and little ones are going to get knocked over if everyone brought a ball."
Another parent, Michelle Wallis, added: "I think that kids can get really rough and it's hard for them to understand the limitations on play."
Ms Luiten said the school encourages ball games during the day and that changes were made after several parents complained about playground safety.
"It's 15 minutes in the morning, and 15 minutes in the afternoon," she said."They have plenty of exercise during the day so I don't see that's detrimental to any child."
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