A ban on school excursions to laser tag has been labelled an “overreaction” and PC gone mad.
The Education Department’s “unsuitable activities” policy was updated at the end of April to include any “weapons-based real life action games”, such as archery tag or laser skirmish.
Shooting, paintball, bungee jumping, canyoning, hang gliding, skydiving, light aircraft flying, quad bike riding and flyboarding were also listed as activities not be undertaken by students, reports The Mercury.
A department spokesman on Tuesday said the decision to prohibit government schools from participating in laser tag was made “in light of community expectations around simulated violence and gun-related activities”.
But a Tasmanian company, Tas Laser Skirmish, has said he believed the Education Department had taken political correctness a step too far and should let “kids be kids”.
“There are seven laser tag operators in Tasmania and the ban could make trading very difficult in such a small state,” he said.
“We have about 50 school groups come in each year and we rely on their weekday business.
“Some public schools have returned for seven or eight years in a row because they know the kids love it and will benefit from the team-bonding experience.”
Mr Simonetis said safety instruction briefings were held before every session and schools were always provided with a detailed risk assessment plan before arriving at his Kingston laser tag field.
“A laser tag phaser is not classed as a firearm. All our games require communication, leadership, decision-making and strategy,” Mr Simonetis said.
Tasmania Education Minister, Jeremy Rockliff, said he supported the department’s decision but it was up to parents and carers what activities they participated in with their children outside of school hours.
“I’ve had a great time playing laser tag with my children but it was on the weekend, not during school hours,” he said.
“During school time, there is a wide range of other activities that provide for a broader educational benefit for schools to consider when taking students off campus.”
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