Dear School Board Members; School District Superintendent; Executive Director of District Facilities, Maintenance and Operations; Construction Manager of Bond Projects; Elementary School Principal,
I note the "Character" word for the month of October at my child's elementary school is "Responsibility." In the weekly newsletter we receive, we're told this means "Be reliable. Do what you are supposed to do!" It also means "Do your best job all the time." There's "Don't blame others for your mistakes." One of my favorites is "Make good choices."
In sharp contrast to what we preach to our kids, we have the debacle of having spent $1.6 million to install new playground equipment at all of the elementary schools in the district. None opened on time. Ours were opened all of two days before the district took its one responsible act and shuttered them all due to the high incidence of injuries.
Of course, how responsible was it for you to replace all of the structures at all of the schools, regardless of the fact that some schools, my own child's included, had perfectly good structures already in place? And, of course, as you consider closing schools due to financial problems, how responsible was it to replace structures before you knew which schools you would close? Or how responsible was it to not start the replacements at some schools until after school had started?
Many of the structures are unusable. I went through my "supervisor" training yesterday at another school. Yes, everyone who does yard duty at any school had to go through a 45-minute training session with the district's loss and liability consultant. Why? Because, according to the executive director of facilities, "You cannot open new play structures without proper training or retraining of your yard supervisors."
The only item I gleaned from my training yesterday, beyond recognizing it for the cover-your-butt action on your part, is that every adult supervising those kids is outraged that you would fail to take responsibility for putting equipment clearly designed and intended for older children on little kids' playgrounds. And that you have the gumption to say it's a training issue.
Who approved these? Who looked at the placement of these? Who watched while they were installed? Who paid one iota of attention to such a monumental screw-up in the making? Who is going to pay for the many, many repairs to make these usable for young kids? Who is going to get fired for this? Who is going to take responsibility?
That's what I thought.