Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Playground Politic

School has been in session around these here parts for five weeks.

On the first day of the sixth week of school, they finally opened the new playground structures. Our school district, poised to close a middle school and an elementary school at the end of this school year, decided to spend its clearly dwindling supply of money on ripping out all of the playgrounds at all of the elementary schools. I can't speak to the condition of the other schools' playgrounds, but our three (kindergarten, lower yard and upper yard) were in fine shape.

Youngest and I watched the destruction which began just weeks before school started. I was amazed for a couple of reasons. One being that, as I said, the structures looked fine to me. The other being I couldn't imagine them finishing it in time for school to begin.

Yesterday, as school let out, an employee could be seen wrapping yellow caution tape around each structure. The principal sent out a note:

"We have also been told to close all playground structures until further notice. Please be assured that there have been no injuries on our campus due to the playground structures. However, the district is taking a proactive approach in ensuring that all students will be safe. I would appreciate it if you would inform your children that the playground will be closed."

Rumors abounded before the closure. The company installing the playground structures had apparently put them in the wrong yards at some schools, putting the one meant for the younger kids on the older kids' yard and vice versa. "It is what it is," one principal is quoted as saying. That's because the company apparently says it's not changing them.

Another rumor has it that a couple of kids have fallen from the quite-high structures and broken their arms. I know the one on our lower yard has a high slide that has no stairs to it; you have to ascend one of two climbing walls to get to it. The rubber-like flooring is already being gouged out, likely started by some teens having fun on the weekend and then picked further out by the curious first graders and second graders (and the destructive third graders).

Watching this all play out, I find myself convinced of the incompetency and idiocy of our school district powers-that-be. I hold out hope that whoever fu$%ed this up gets fired. I also hold out hope that the district will come out and explain itself and its reasoning.

Of course, I also hold out hope that I'll win the lottery soon.


Jessica said...

okay, I LOVE your tags for this article, I LOVE the phrase 'playground politics', and I love your blog. :) I'm a part-time nanny, and love love love the strange happenings at playgrounds!!
Thought you might appreciate my collaborative blog - Dysfunctional Beginnings - about growing up, and beginnings of all kinds. LIterary writing, nonfiction, fiction, poetry, photography, video. for submissions.

Tara R. said...

Unfortunately with fuster clucked bureaucracy, laying blame and fixing what is wrong, we both know how that usually works out. Good luck getting the playground politic straightened out.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Um, wait. Isn't it a childhood rite of passage to break something at a playground? WTF? People just need to get a clue and chill.


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