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rainbow4321 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-05-05 06:58 AM
Original message
School district worries about lawsuits: Removes swingsets from schools
OMG--just when I think this district can not get any worse...they have removed swingsets from our schoolyards in fear of a kid getting hurt and the school getting SUED!

Playtime Is Over: Swings' removal signals a larger shift away from unstructured play

Plano school officials last week removed the last of its swing sets from schoolyards, a nod to concerns that playful kids will hurt themselves.

We understand the school district's dilemma. No district wants to be sued for negligence for its failure to remove a potentially dangerous plaything. The idea of Johnny and Suzy briefly defying gravity in flight across the playground well, it's just plain scary especially when the touchdown lands the district and taxpayers in court.

Interestingly, about 70 percent of the deaths occurred on home playground equipment. Maybe, just maybe, we're being a bit too protective of our children, not letting kids be kids for fear of bad consequences.

So in Plano's schoolyards, the playground swing has gone the way of the dinosaur. Too bad. Unless parents push back against this trend, one day we'll wake up, and all we'll have left will be virtual playgrounds.

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globalvillage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-05-05 08:02 AM
Response to Original message
1. You can get paper cuts
from books. Let's get rid of them too. And school buses. Big yellow death traps. The kids should have to walk.
Maybe they should just stay home in front of the TV where it's safe.
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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-05-05 09:00 AM
Response to Original message
2. I grew up playing in a schoolyard w/o swings or other play equip.
We lived. So will the kids. People sue schools for just anything these days. I don't blame them. Will it help? Who knows?
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n2mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-05-05 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Swing sets
You are probably just referring to elementary school children but... when I was a director of a childcare center I had the swing sets removed from the playground for a few reasons. Some of these reasons can be applicable to elementary schools too.

Reason #1, safety issue. Children who are excited and running on the playground do not watch where they are going - there run in front of the swings causing injury. Children also have the tendency when sitting on the swings twisting around on them
causing to get their necks caught in the twist. There were incidents where this occurred with death as a result. Then, there are those children who do not know how to pump, taking the persons who are supervising the children away and teaching the children to pump or pushing the children on the swing.

Reason #2, exercise and social issues. Most children do not get enough exercise because of TV and computers. Children should be running, playing games learning sportsmanship and interacting. Personally, swings do not teach social interaction or sportsmanship.

If parents want their children to use swings, take them to a park.

Reason #3, adult responsibility issue. Adults supervising on playgrounds should not spend all their time focused on the swings, they need to be alert to what is happening on the entire playground and interacting with the children and listening to what
the children are saying. Adults can learn what is happening with children by listening and interacting.

My past experience is there is lack of supervision on a playground especially at the elementary school level. Often those who are supervising on the playground are parents during recess or one teacher. The parents at least from my experience spend time chit chatting with other adults and not watching the children. The same goes for staff on the playground. I probably was considered a bitch when a director, but if I saw chit chatting between adults on the playground, I would go outdoors and inform them to circulate, circulate, and circulate and pay attention to the children.

Hope this makes sense, but I am one who is against swings on a playground.

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sweettater Donating Member (674 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-05-05 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Oh, for crying out loud!
I work at an elementary school. What playground equipment do you suggest the children use? All equipment can be considered dangerous one way or another. Let the children play. We children of the 50's managed to stay alive and I sure played on every type of playground equipment imaginable. Let children be children. A few bumps and bruises never hurt anyone. What are we rearing a bunch of sissies?
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n2mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-05-05 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. I am also a believer of unstructured play
Let's allow our children to use their creativity. Let's allow them to learn social skills. Let's teach our children to think for themselves. Structured play only teaches our children to be robots.
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LizW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-05-05 11:42 AM
Response to Original message
6. Everything on a playground can be dangerous
if there are too many kids and not enough adult supervision.

When I was in elementary school, we had no equipment at all. The teachers stayed inside while we were at recess, and we roamed around the school grounds unsupervised. We played in the woods behind the school, and in a big field at the edge of a busy highway. I remember several injuries, but fortunately nothing serious. It's a miracle nothing very bad happened to one of us.

Every school has to evaluate its playground situation and do what's best. My kids' elementary school had a "zip line" when it first opened. Lots of schools have them, but after two children got broken bones, it came down. It just wasn't working safely for that particular school and it had to go.

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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-05-05 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
7. The ACA's (ass-covering administrators) strike again
Edited on Sat Mar-05-05 11:46 AM by Lydia Leftcoast
You cannot guarantee safety 100%. Even if you just have a bare playground with no equipment on it, a child could still be seriously injured or even killed if knocked to the ground by another child.

99.9% of children have survived encounters with playground equipment just fine.

Today's parents seem to want to eliminate all risks from their children's lives, even the risks that are so insignificant as to be once in a decade events. Maybe they should just wrap children in cotton batting and make them play in rubber rooms, rubber rooms with pillows on the walls. Thick gloves on the children's hands so they don't hit or scratch one another. Masks over their faces so that one child with a cold doesn't spread the illness to the whole group.

I would be willing to bet that fewer children are killed or even injured by playground equipment each year than are injured or killed riding in cars with their own parents.
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n2mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-05-05 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Ass covering Administrators
give up your job and become responsible for over a 100 children and fight the law suits. Try the job sometime, you might change your mind.

I'm a 100% Democrat but I could not afford law suits. In all actuality I was not an administrator, I was at the bottom of management. The administrator would not take the fall, it would be past down to me.

My responsibility first is the safety of the children.... directors of childcare centers and teachers are not administrators, they are only pawns.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-05-05 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
8. If they can't be trusted with swing sets as children ...
Edited on Sat Mar-05-05 11:47 AM by TahitiNut
... then they can't be trusted with automobiles as young adults. This is psychotic 'parentalism' gone round the bend.

Fuck! Remove the bathtubs from all homes - kids drown.
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