Parents want to see Gwinnett schools gym activity banned after son's shoulder injury
Tyler Strickland is spending the sweltering days of July wrapped in a sling from his shoulder to his wrist, unable to swim, cut his food or bang out a tune on his electric guitar.
The wiry 14-year-old, who has to take pills to manage pain from a sports injury, says that he hurt his shoulder during a Gwinnett County Schools physical education class playing a game his parents want to see banned.
The Twin Rivers Middle School student said he and classmates were asked to participate in a souped-up version of tee ball for teens. They swung a wooden bat at a volleyball perched on a traffic cone during gym class.
His parents say that the force of the bat against the ball caused their son to experience debilitating shoulder pain that later required surgery. According to medical records, the student suffered two tendon tears and a partially dislocated shoulder. Three staples were placed in his arm to reattach his bicep muscles.
“I believe it was an idiotic thing to ask kids to do,” said the teen’s stepfather, Ken Gittens, a veteran Gwinnett firefighter. “For any action there is an equal and opposite reaction. It would be just common sense that if you whack a volleyball as hard as you can, the bat is going to bounce back and you are probably going to get hurt. Someone who has gone to college should know better.”