Dad Worries School Sports Medal Too Pointy! (via Free-Range Kids)

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Hi — ‘Tis Lenore from Free-Range Kids again. Here’s one that’ll make you (verrrrrry carefully) bang your head against the table: A dad noticed that the medals a school was giving out as prizes were not made out of fur, or cotton, or silk. They were, in fact, made out of metal, with a point at one end!  According to this article on the website Kent:

The father-of-two said: “What on earth were these idiots thinking, handing out something like that to children? It does make you wonder how in these health-and-safety days, these slipped through the net. The people who organised it obviously didn’t see them like that but they’re so sharp, I just pushed one into a wooden table.

“I can’t believe someone’s allowed these to be given out.”

The technician, who is in his late 50s, spotted a friend’s ten-year-old son wearing one of the bronze medals last week and immediately confiscated it.

He said: “He was proudly wearing it round his neck and I thought, ‘My God, he’s going to stab himself with that.’

Let’s hope no one ever hands any kids he knows a cross or a Star of David! The horror! – L.
Dangerous:  Lawrence Connolly holds the medal he fears could be used as a weapon. Far right: The medal stabbed into a wood table

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74 Responses to “Dad Worries School Sports Medal Too Pointy! (via Free-Range Kids)”

  1. #1 |  Tom Sullivan | 

    “The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.” Herbert Spencer. Bet any kid that did stab himself or someone else with this would only do it once…

  2. #2 |  jesse | 

    I guess we found the one hunyuck that’s actually in favor of all that zero tolerance crap.

  3. #3 |  Raybury | 

    Now, everyone take out your safety pencil and a circle of

  4. #4 |  Jim | 

    Self-castration is nasty. A world of eunuchs.

  5. #5 |  Ken Hagler | 

    Notice he openly admits that he stole (“immediately confiscated”) a medal belonging to another kid who wasn’t even related to him? It sounds to me like the kid should have stabbed _him_, in self-defense…

  6. #6 |  EH | 

    Looks like it might have been designed as a speech-bubble that hangs above the wearer’s heart.

  7. #7 |  Bren | 

    The medal was designed to be less sharp than the razor blades kids normally use to make their lines of cocaine. SAFETY FIRST!

  8. #8 |  Bob | 

    Jesus. Wood and Metal shop must suck these days.

    Can you imagine what would happen if this guy saw a kid using a fork? Shit, he’d probably crap his pants before calling 911.

  9. #9 |  Marty | 

    things were better when the do-gooders had to worry about getting beat up by bullies.

  10. #10 |  En Passant | 

    From the linked article:

    Lawrence Connolly believes the points of the metal 2012 School Games medals, which have been presented to primary pupils, could be dangerous in the wrong hands.


    The technician, who is in his late 50s, spotted a friend’s ten-year-old son wearing one of the bronze medals last week and immediately confiscated it.

    Certainly appears that one medal is in the wrong hands now.

  11. #11 |  Silver Fang | 

    If i were that boy’s father, I’d punch Connolly in the face.

  12. #12 |  marco73 | 

    Theft from a 10-year-old child. Why wasn’t this man arrested?
    And a 50-something year old man hanging around where there are vulnerable children? Why isn’t that pervert in prison? /sarc off

    Do they allow sharp pencils in that school, or do they use blunt crayons?

  13. #13 |  missjanenc | 

    Yeah…this guy is so sharp himself…a real PINHEAD.

  14. #14 |  Mike | 

    I think he was jealous that his own son didn’t get a medal and so he stole it from another kid. After realizing what a jerk that made him, he quickly concocted this safety story as a cover.

  15. #15 |  Chris Mallory | 

    It is the UK, being neutered is just how they are. Little better than an open air prison.

  16. #16 |  Dan | 

    I’m 100% with Silver Fang on this.

  17. #17 |  Gideon Darrow | 

    “He said: “He was proudly wearing it round his neck and I thought, ‘My God, he’s going to stab himself with that.’”

    If that’s true, the kid’s got much bigger problems than a pointy medal.

  18. #18 |  Stacyj | 

    Imlove that he took it and pushed it into a wood table… Really dude? Even the kid wasn’t doing that? Whose table did you just ruin by being a moron?

  19. #19 |  Vertov | 

    This seems pretty frivolous and whiny on the father’s part.

    As an attorney, I’m supposed to worry about worst-case scenarios, which is why I’m not as concerned about people thinking twice about liability issues, although its subject to debate.

    But the notion that these trinkets are going to be used as kung-fu weapons is way is ridiculously far-fetched and paranoid. If you’re going to use that logic, you might as well ban pencils from the classrooms, or rocks from the schoolyard.

    But aside from all that, the pointy end makes the medal look kinda gauche. What’s it doing there, exactly? If I were the school, I’d get a different design, on good taste alone.

    As Benjamin Franklin once said, people who are willing to trade good taste for the illusion of safety deserve neither. Something like that.

  20. #20 |  Warren | 

    Sure hope his kid never grows up to drive Nascar. In Texas the winner gets a pair of functional pistols. Yeehaw!!!!!!!!!! If an adult went up to one of my kids, and confiscated a medal they had won? The least of that persons worries would be sharp corners.

    Confiscated? This implies that this lunatic had some sort of authority. Since the article did not inform us of his authority, we must assume he had none.
    In this situation, confiscation of said medal, becomes theft, and most likely some degree of assault, assuming the boy didn’t want to give up his medal.
    This man has admitted it in the press, and the local authorities would be negligent if they did not address this.

  21. #21 |  Mairead | 

    The reality is that it’s badly designed (it doesn’t look anything like a medal) and poorly made (epoxy “enamel”). Even on those grounds alone someone should get some stick.

    And since kids tend to be incautious, rambunctious, and klutzy, it’s probably more than a little dangerous if worn during horseplay. Despite being made of pot metal, it could easily take out an eye, punch through a windpipe, or do other damage. There’s no “oh well, it’ll heal” when an eye goes.

  22. #22 |  Kimberly | 

    Who are these people? do they really have nothing better to do with their time than stealing a child’s property that the child was probably extremely proud to have gotten. What a douche. If I were that kid’s parents I would demand the medal back for sure if not more.

    People really need to get lives and let their kids have lives.

  23. #23 |  Aresen | 

    @ Mairead | August 9th, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Is this an example of Poe’s Law?

  24. #24 |  Aresen | 

    Seriously: I would love to see this guy charged with petty larceny for “confiscating” this child’s medal.

  25. #25 |  Meister574 | 

    How did we all survive without people like this?

    “I just pushed one into a wooden table.”

    I’d be more worried that kids would use it to carve something into a table or wall than hurting themselves.

  26. #26 |  Danny | 

    The kids are ten. If they were 5 or 6, I might say he has a … point.
    But ten is old enough to be okay with something like that.

  27. #27 |  Becky | 

    Has anyone told him about the baggage retrieval system at Heathrow?

  28. #28 |  Steve Verdon | 

    If i were that boy’s father, I’d punch Connolly in the face.

    Yup. What an asshole.

  29. #29 |  derfel cadarn | 

    My suggestion to Dad is to press the pointy end very firmly against his temple and push hard. It is clear that he would being doing us all a favor. Get a grip ,man if this is what worries you most about the world you need to start paying attention. MORON!

  30. #30 |  Danny | 

    I’d like to suggest toning down the super-hatiness, here.

    Face-punching and stabbing, even if purely rhetorical, is not an apt response to somebody who makes a mistake because they have been conditioned to be fearful and overly-protective.

    People who sincerely care about others, even if they are totally wrong-headed, are generally amenable to reason. The trick is to make the case cogent, persuasive and inviting. Alienating and violent rhetoric does not advance the cause.

  31. #31 |  Brian V. | 

    @ #20

    “…it’s probably more than a little dangerous if worn during horseplay….”

    So too for Jockey shorts.

  32. #32 |  el coronado | 

    Naw, the hell with THAT! *I* say we grab the do-good pinhead and stab him repeatedly with hat medal until he cries like a little girl. Oh, and BTW, #3 wins. I don’t care who y’are, “circle of paper” is *funny*.

  33. #33 |  AlgerHiss | 

    A friend works in one of the two home improvement stores. (One begins with a “L” and the other begins with a “H”. Which one it is, it doesn’t matter.)

    His observation is today’s average American male has turned into a wussified, sissified, weak, feminine piece of silly-assed shit. And he comes to this conclusion based on what they wear on their feet.

    It’s either flip-flops, or Birkenstocks, or crocs, or tennis shoes sans regular socks, or some sort of sandal. Many times they wear those little mini-socks….or as he calls them…footies. Occasionally, someone is even goofy enough to wear Ho Chi Minh sandals. (The ones made out of old truck tires.)

    These whimps go clip-clopping around trying to purchase lumber, cement, nails, etc… and have no freak’n idea what they’re doing. Worst of all, these panzy-asses actually believe they DO know what they’re doing. Even more disgusting is when they bring along their 9 year old son, and even the kid is clomping about in girly-like little pieces of beach wear on their feet.

    He calls the new American male, Sandalistas. (Ripped off from Daniel Ortega’s, Sandinistas.)

    Pay attention to what the male wears on their feet. Real men wear shoes and socks.

    And ladies, never date or marry a Sandalista. You’ll be gravely disappointed.

  34. #34 |  Hal 10000 | 

    You know, kids can hurt themselves on anything. Yesterday, my daughter bumped her lip with an iPad, which is probably one of the safest objects on Earth to use. She was trying to look closely at it and hit her lip. You simply can’t keep kids from getting hurt unless you wrap them up in Nerf.

  35. #35 |  Marty | 

    you have got to be shitting me. this is what you want to bring to the discussion? sandals being worn to a hardware store?

  36. #36 |  Suzanne | 

    #8 | Bob | August 9th, 2012 at 12:37 pm
    Jesus. Wood and Metal shop must suck these days.


    I believe wood and metal shop has been outlawed and replaced with cotton ball and bubble wrap shop. Can’t be too careful.

  37. #37 |  Nancy Lebovitz | 

    So, instead of everyone gets a medal, no one gets a medal?

  38. #38 |  M. Steve | 

    @32 Marty

    Beneath the layers of silliness, I think there is a point in there somewhere. It is completely foolish to wear any open-toed shoes to a mega-hardware store like Home Depot or Lowe’s. There have to be at least a hundred different ways to break a toe or get a severe splinter just by walking around. If you are going to one of those stores, you should be wearing closed toed shoes at least (I generally wear steel-toed boots.) It does demonstrate a significant lack of planning and foresight to show up in flip-flops.

    However, if we are defining “real men” by their general choice of footwear, then “real men” go barefoot, because “real men” hunt on the Savannah. Or something.

  39. #39 |  el coronado | 

    And all them turtleneck-&-fedora-&-nimrod-retro-glasses-wearing weenies at the Starbucks! With their skinny jeans and their ridiculously specific coffee orders! REAL men just drink Joe, by God!!

  40. #40 |  Stormy Dragon | 


    Real men don’t worry about whether other people think they’re being sufficiently manly.

  41. #41 |  anarch |

  42. #42 |  croaker | 

    @27 “Face-punching and stabbing, even if purely rhetorical, is not an apt response to somebody who makes a mistake because they have been conditioned to be fearful and overly-protective.”

    Why not? The only thing that will adjust his attitude is some time behind the woodshed for the ass-beating Daddy never gave him. Pull this crap in West Virginia and they’ll ID the body from dental records ten years from now.

  43. #43 |  Warren | 

    This is even better than the cat story. We have gone from “Man mugs 10 yr old” to sandal wearing home improvement shoppers.
    The human race…………..never fails to amaze me, and it is some of the best entertainment around.

  44. #44 |  Onlooker | 

    +1 Stormy Dragon

    Give me a break with the “shoes make the man” crap. And no I don’t think I need to wear steel toes shoes to walk thru HD. LOL

    On the other hand I don’t disagree that we have a trend towards feminization in males going on. I just hope it doesn’t get as bad as it’s gotten in Japan.

  45. #45 |  MikeV | 

    The kid could also strangle himself or others with that dangerous ribbon attached to the medal, or swing the medal around with the ribbon and fracture their skull.

    In the future, all medals will be soft plastic too big to accidentally swallow and every kid will get one.

  46. #46 |  johnl | 

    Mairead you don’t wear medals for horseplay. You take a photo with it on then take it off and hang it on a 3 foot tall trophy you got for finishing 3rd place in in some other event.

  47. #47 |  rieagle | 

    Don’t let this “father” near a group of Boy Scouts safely using their Scout knives, as they have been taught! He’d confiscate every one of them.

  48. #48 |  Peter | 

    Despite being made of pot metal, it could easily take out an eye […]

    Yeah! It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye…

  49. #49 |  Bob | 

    You know… looking at the medal…

    If you swung that around by the strap, you could get it to stick to a target if you could release it with sufficient accuracy.

    That’s what my friends and I would have done back in the day. We already did that with tin can lids thrown like shuriken stars.

    Yeah, it’s a wonder any of us survived to adulthood, but that’s par for the course.

  50. #50 |  Nancy Lebovitz | 

    croaker, excessive trust in punishment is a large part of what’s wrong with the “justice” system. You wouldn’t be able to make it work, either.

  51. #51 |  Deandra MacDonald | 

    Those medals do seem strangely and excessively sharp. But I think government authorities have their hands rightfully tied with more pressing matters:

  52. #52 |  liberranter | 

    The father-of-two said: “What on earth were these idiots thinking, handing out something like that to children? It does make you wonder how in these health-and-safety days, these slipped through the net.

    How the hell did this castrato b**** become a father of two?

  53. #53 |  JThompson | 

    @Algerhiss: I don’t much feel like going into a long “Manlier than thou” game right now, so I’m just going to point out that your friend sounds like he’s overcompensating and leave it at that.

    Ok, I can’t leave it at that. Your friend spends his entire day critiquing other men’s shoes and somehow he thinks HE is the manly one?

  54. #54 |  jmcross | 

    Yeah, yeah. Real men learn to work the saxophone, play just what they feel, drink Scotch whisky all night long and die behind the wheel.

  55. #55 |  jmcross | 

    … in steel toed boots.

  56. #56 |  Mairead | 

    @21 Areson: Is this an example of Poe’s Law?

    I don’t know what you mean by “this”. If you’re asking whether I’m serious: I am. It was a lousy job of design whether considered from an aesthetic or safety standpoint. It’s basic Murphy: if you don’t want something to poke holes in things where holes shouldn’t be, don’t make it pointy because as sure as fate, if you do, it will.

  57. #57 |  Mairead | 

    @42 JohnL: you don’t wear medals for horseplay

    We’re talking about kids, John.

  58. #58 |  Cyto | 

    I love this post! It brought back great memories. When I was a teen, around 1980, my best friend lived next door to a clone of this parent. He kept calling the police on us for things like riding our bikes, motorcycles (on our own property no less) and (horrors) sitting beside a creek. Apparently he was worried that we might fall in the 4 inch deep creek and drown.

    Anyway, after the creek incident we teamed up with my friends older brother and the 3 of us picked up and scooted his car sideways in the garage as a revenge prank. He only had about 2 feet of clearance, so he couldn’t drive his way out of it. Spent the whole next day in the driveway with the local cops and a Polaroid taking pictures of tire marks in the driveway.

    Eventually the police figured out he was a crank and quit hassling us when he called them out…. they’d just drive by and wave. I shudder to think what could have happened if we’d been less courteous and respectful to the police – even knowing that we were not doing anything illegal. (well, other than the time we turned his car sideways… but you can’t really count that one)

    A few years later I learned that the neighbor had lost his 5 year old son to a hit and run driver in the street in front of his house in the quiet suburban subdivision. That explained why he was such a paranoid dick. I didn’t regret the prank, but I do feel for the guy and now I understand what he was dealing with. You never know until you walk a mile in their shoes….

  59. #59 |  jmcross | 

    Mr Connolly, here’s your award…

  60. #60 |  Rich T | 

    I guess he would go ape shit if he knew I gave my 8 yr old a 22 for her birthday.

  61. #61 |  John C. Randolph | 

    spotted a friend’s ten-year-old son wearing one of the bronze medals last week and immediately confiscated it.

    That’s theft, not confiscation. Confiscation is taking someone else’s property for some legally justifiable cause.


  62. #62 |  croaker | 

    @52 Nice idea, but no. Find the largest realistic dildo made and mount it on a plaque. The award can say “World’s Biggest Dick”.

    Alternately, find a two-gallon enema bag and mount a “World’s Biggest Douchebag” sign on it.

  63. #63 |  Steve Verdon | 


    Hopefully someday your friend will feel comfortable enough to come out of the closet.

    The poor guy.

  64. #64 |  Steve Verdon | 

    The kid could also strangle himself or others with that dangerous ribbon attached to the medal, or swing the medal around with the ribbon and fracture their skull.

    Tie several together on a stick and by God you have a fail!!! The horror.

    Of course, if I were 10 I’d think having a flail would be freaking awesome….till I beaned myself in the head with it.

  65. #65 |  Steve Verdon | 


    Admit it, you are just pissed you never got that Red Rider BB gun.

  66. #66 |  John C. Randolph | 

    BTW, I wonder if the moron in question would have a conniption if someone pointed out to him that kids use pencils in school. Personally, I know two people who used pencils for self-defense in elementary school, in each case inflicting a rather deep wound on the bully they were repelling.


  67. #67 |  Ken Hagler | 

    I used a pencil that way in elementary school myself once, when I was very little.

  68. #68 |  Mairead | 

    I never used a pencil for defence, but I do still, 66 years on, have a longish bit of broken-off #2 lead in my ankle/instep from running at school whilst carrying a pencil in my sock. After that I decided not to carry pencils in my socks.

  69. #69 |  tariqata | 

    Ken Hagler: Now I’m reminded of the ‘stabbing’ at my high school. One kid managed to stab another kid in the head with a pencil hard enough to draw blood.

    No pencils were confiscated following that incident, however.

  70. #70 |  demize! | 

    I’m pretty sure it could be used as a weapon. Let me stab him in the neck with it and see if he can breathe through the hole to be sure.

  71. #71 |  Maria | 

    As a child I stabbed myself with a pencil due to some ill timed horseplay. I still have a bit of lead in my palm. Despite this trauma I somehow managed to carry on into adulthood. I even learned how to safely use the dangerous pencil, I’ve only stabbed myself occasionally in the last 30 years.

    I even graduated to pens while still a young girl and then I mastered the most dangerous game of all.

    Fountain pens.

    It seems this is now considered a major accomplishment. I feel that I should have gotten a medal at some point. Come to think of it… I’ll just go and steal one from the nearest child.

  72. #72 |  Anton Sherwood | 

    Ten years old, hm. I was that age when I started regularly carrying a knife. What were my parents thinking?! It’s a wonder that I haven’t murdered anyone yet.

  73. #73 |  Frank | 

    This guy needs to clean the window in his navel so that he can see out. The trouble with kids these days is that they’re parented by pansies like this. Thank goodness he’s not my neighbor.

  74. #74 |  stray | 

    This moron sounds like an idiot uncle of mine. My cousins weren’t allowed to use forks until they were 18 because he was worried that they would poke their mouths. Honest to God true story.