Solutions on Softball

By Nick Seebruch

Published on May 16, 2017

Julia Murphy gets ready to play catch in the new softball area at St. Anne's Catholic School (Nick Seebruch/ TC Media).

CORNWALL, Ontario - The desire for one student at St. Anne's Catholic School to play softball has led to the creation of a new space at the school where students can play together safely.

Recently, Julia Murphy was told that she would not be able to play catch with a softball due to fears of injury to other students.

Julia's father, Councillor David Murphy, said that his daughter loves the teachers and staff at St. Anne's, but he fellt that this policy diminished his daughter's ability to gain experiences that many children have had over the years.

"To say someone could get hurt with a softball is true," he said in an email to Seaway News. "Then again, a pen can be used as a projectile…does that mean we should ban pens? This is not an attack on the teachers or support staff at St. Anne's or any other school. My daughter, Julia, looks forward to going to school every day (that speaks to how she and the other students are treated by their teachers and support staff). My issue is with the "system" that has limited opportunities for children to experience some of the things we did at their age in the name of safety or hurt feelings."

Fortunately in this case, Murphy and the school were able to work together on a solution that will benefit every student at St. Anne's.

"The school principal Michelle Robillard was trying to find a safe space for the children to play catch," said Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario Associate Director John Cameron. "She picked a spot in the play yard near the fence behind the pre-fabs."

David Murphy said that having a spot in the play yard where all students can go to play catch if they want to was a good solution.

"Having an area for the kids to play catch is very good," he said. "This will allow all the children at St. Anne's an opportunity to enjoy a game catch at recess and lunch break."