Scarf bans re­in­forced

School boards re­minded of ‘pas­sive haz­ard’

Metro Canada (Winnipeg) - - FRONT PAGE - For Metro | Win­nipeg Meg Crane

The Man­i­toba School Board As­so­ci­a­tion says win­ter scarf bans are com­mon and par­ents shouldn’t be sur­prised more schools are in­stat­ing them.

Dar­ren Thomas, risk man­ager for the MSBA, said a ban on scarves that up­set par­ents at Oak­en­wald School came af­ter an in­ci­dent in Calgary that sent a child to hos­pi­tal in crit­i­cal con­di­tion af­ter her scarf got caught on the play­ground.

Af­ter the girl was in­jured, he sent an email to Man­i­toba school boards re­mind­ing them of the MSBA’s po­si­tion against scarves.

Oak­en­wald El­e­men­tary then an­nounced its pol­icy against loose, hang­ing scarves on its play struc­ture last week.

Thomas un­der­stands the pol­icy be­ing con­tro­ver­sial, but sup­ports it. “It’s pretty much a pas­sive haz­ard,” Thomas said.

Stu­dents don’t need to be do­ing any­thing wrong or dan­ger­ous to in­jure them­selves on a struc­ture while wear­ing a scarf, Thomas said.

Pem­bina Trails su­per­in­ten­dent Ted Fransen said prin­ci­pals in his di­vi­sion come up with their own poli­cies, based on the struc­tures on their grounds.

“Some play struc­tures will have ab­so­lutely noth­ing for a scarf to be lodged in,” Fransen said. The prin­ci­pal may de­cide to have no ban, or a rule that all scarves must be tucked in.

Pem­bina Trails School Di­vi­sion tries to bal­ance hav­ing rig­or­ous rules and let­ting stu­dents do what they want, said Fransen. “In bal­anc­ing those, we will al­ways rule in favour of stu­dent safety.”

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