July 19, 2005
No Fun For You!
The Playground Nazis descend on Broward County, Florida:
"It's too tight around the equipment to be running," said Safety Director Jerry Graziose, the Broward County official who ordered the signs. "Our job was to try to control it."
How about swings or those hand-pulled merry-go-rounds?
"Nope. They've got moving parts. Moving parts on equipment is the number one cause of injury on the playgrounds."
"Nope. That's moving too."
"Well, I have to be careful about animals" turning them into litter boxes.
Cement crawl tubes?
"Vagrants. The longer they are, the higher possibility that a vagrant could stay in them. We have shorter ones now that are made out of plastic or fiberglass."
As a matter of fact, I don't blame this poor guy. As the article makes clear, he's playing defense. Take a guess at the real gunners:
Since 1999, Broward County schools paid out about $561,000 to settle 189 claims for playground accidents, about 5 percent of the amount the district spent on all injury claims in that time. To keep those numbers low, Graziose said, he needs to keep thinking of ways to make playgrounds safe.
Broward County School Board member Robin Bartleman understands the pressure Graziose is under, even though the playground at Everglades Elementary in Weston makes her 6-year-old daughter's face droop into a formidable pout.
"To say `no running' on the playground seems crazy," said Bartleman, who agreed to be interviewed on a recent outing at Everglades. "But your feelings change when you're in a closed-door meeting with lawyers."
'Zactly. Sanity and restraint have to start with parents not automatically going for the draw every time they think something's happened to little Joey. This isn't just a playground thing, but is endemic to all aspects of school. Buh'lieve me - I'm on the Board of the Llama-ettes' school and even though it's private and has considerably more leeway than the public system, the possibility of lawsuits always lurks in the background, no matter what the issue.
Yips! to Michael Graham in the Corner.Posted by Robert at July 19, 2005 11:46 AM | TrackBack