The game was called “Cross the Line,” an ironic title because that’s exactly what parents of students at a middle school in Marinette, Wisconsin think the educators did. WLUK Fox 11 News is reporting that Marinette Middle School played the game in which 5th through 8th graders were grouped together and asked to step forward if they had a “yes” answer to questions like, “Do your parents drink?” and “Has anyone in your family been to jail?”
It’s unclear who exactly was leading the game. Parent Amanda Fifarek was not happy with the activity, telling WLUK, “It was too personal. It’s just things your kids don’t need to be disclosing to other kids.” It’s hard to argue with Ms. Fifarek. 6th grader Sarah Maitlin told the station, “[The school employee] asked if you ever wanted to commit suicide to step forward and then after that she asked if you ever experienced or wanted to cut, to step forward.” I’m going to say maybe that kind of conversation is best left to a one-on-one.
Administrators wouldn’t give on-camera interviews, but did give a statement. WGBA NBC 26 News quotes Principal Shawn Limberg as saying, “The intent of this activity was to build stronger, more respectful relationships among students.” WLUK notes that Limberg also said the game was voluntary and, “students could have said no.” But, is that the case? Not according to parent Janette Sadowski, who told WGBA that her daughter was threatened with in-school suspension if she didn’t participate.
On top of this, parents are annoyed they weren’t informed ahead of time. Principal Limberg said they will let parents know the next time they plan on playing this game.