School playground 'rape tag' sparks concern
By Sylvia Wood, msnbc.com
Freeze tag during recess seldom raises eyebrows, but a variation of the game known as “rape tag” among students at a Minnesota elementary school has alarmed administrators and parents.
Principal Bill Sprung of Washington Elementary School in New Ulm sent a letter home this week to parents to alert them to the disturbing game, which was described as similar to freeze tag, "except that a person had to be humped to be unfrozen," the letter states.
Sprung found out about the game after being notified on Jan. 10 by a concerned parent. He told parents that students in two classrooms were primarily involved. The school, he said, immediately notified teachers and recess supervisors to talk to students about the matter and put an end to the game. "We addressed it as an inappropriate game," he told msnbc.com on Thursday.
While there’s been no recurrence on the playground, Sprung said that he chose to send letters home to quell rumors and speculation apparently fueled by Facebook postings.
He defended the school's handling of the matter: "I think in terms of extinguishing the game, the school and the staff did an excellent job."
Since the letter went home, Sprung said, he's been contacted by about 15 to 20 parents, some of whom were upset about having to discuss the sensitive topic with their children.
"Since the surge in facebook discussions, all staff at Washington has been notified of the game and will be watching for any incidents of the game," Spung said in his letter to parents.
He told msnbc.com that the level of playground supervision has remained the same: "We have not needed to increase the monitors," he said.