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Outrage as school bans cartwheels

FORGET smoking or bullying - at a Townsville primary school, doing a cartwheel in the playground can get you suspended.

Belgian Gardens State School has banned all forms of gymnastics during breaks, including handstands and somersaults. Even the humble forward roll has been given the flick, the Townsville Bulletin reports.

Mum Kylie Buschgens was dumbfounded when her daughter Cali, 10, was told she could no longer do cartwheels, even on the grass.

Her friend was busted and punished by the cartwheel cops this week.

"We had to practise for a play and she did one on the grass," Cali said. "Two teachers took her upstairs and she had to sit down for the rest of the day and not do anything."

Ms Buschgens met with school principal Glenn Dickson and was told gymnastics activities were a "medium risk level 2" that posed a danger to children.

After making her own inquiries, Ms Buschgens found gymnastics was indeed listed as a level 2 risk - when performed in class - along with cricket, soccer, tennis, netball, touch football and other sports. Those sports have not been banned at lunchtime.

"I said (to the principal), 'What if she keeps doing a handstand?' and he said she'd get into trouble," Ms Buschgens said.

"I asked what would happen if she was a repeat handstand offender and he said that would be defiance and it could lead to her being suspended.",23599,24242908-13762,00.html

Gymnastics? We used to have impromptu WWWF wrestling matches and tackle football games on the asphalt with no equipment while the teachers cheered us on. I'm not sure who was busier afterwards; the school nurse or the mothers who had to patch our pants and shirts back together.
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