Disturbing game of "Rape Tag" has school administrators taking actionFargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A disturbing game at recess is capturing the attention of administrators, parents, and children. It's called rape tag. The New Ulm school district says some students were playing it during a recent recess.
By: Travis Skonseng, WDAY
A disturbing game at recess is capturing the attention of administrators, parents, and children. It's called rape tag. The New Ulm school district says some students were playing it during a recent recess.
Washington Elementary's principal says 15 to 20 students were involved in the game. It's similar to freeze tag, but to unfreeze a person, instead of just touching them with your hand, you touch them by thrusting your hips on them. Staff stopped the game after being told about it.
Tina Fischer – Parent: “Kids are getting pregnant at 13 and 14 so if things are starting younger we should be talking to them younger.”
Bill Sprung – Washington Elementary Principal: “They talked about an inappropriate game being played, kids knew what it was.”
That principal heard about the controversy after a student talked about it on Facebook. Then it spread to parents.
Our Facebook is being flooded with startling responses from you, our viewers, about this unsettling game. Rape tag is definitely not the same game most of us remember playing when we were kids.
Here's what you are telling us. Lila says, "Kids sure are sexual these days. Wow." LaRae writes, "This is just crazy." Derek urges "Kids will be kids. Worked up parents, pipe down." Ariel admits, "We did worse in elementary school."
School administrators and counselors in Fargo are not taking Rape Tag lightly. They are taking action.
Fargo School Superintendent Rick Buresh has never heard of this disturbing game, Rape Tag..
Rick Buresh – Fargo Schools Superintendent: “It's concerning enough that it gets our attention.”
The longtime educator isn't too surprised.
Rick Buresh: “Kids are very creative though. They come up with all kinds of different games and variation of games that you and I might have played when we were kids.”
Buresh quickly sent this email to elementary principals, pleading with them to meet with teachers, staff, and playground supervisors.
Rick Buresh: “We don't always notice such a thing going on.”
Greg Diehl – Rape & Abuse Crisis Center: “So much of it is inappropriate for their age, their stage of development.”
Our research finds if you are "it", you are the rapist. Instead of saying "you're it", you say "Rape,” and you get points for touching people on certain body parts.
Greg Diehl: “So their use of rape, who knows where that's even coming from, if they're even understanding what that's all about.”
Victim advocates question whether adults are to blame for not properly educating children about what's right and wrong. The spike in sex and violence on TV isn't helping, either.
Greg Diehl: “I'm probably more disturbed by the thought of where they're getting the information from, where they're getting the ideas to do this.”
Rich Buresh: “It's a good heads up for us to be mindful and watching and supervising appropriately to make sure that something like this doesn't happen or at very least is stopped.”
We reached out to local schools and other districts. None reports rape tag at recess. In fact, we informed most about the game now being played on some school grounds.