327. Can you hear the telephone ringing right now at the
. Can you hear the telephone ringing right now at the New York chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)? I can. Wha? Does New York City enjoy paying attorneys fees and other legal expenses when it drafts these unconstitutional city ordinances? Where's Mayor Bloomberg in all this? Ooopps. He's running for re-election. LOL
13. Actually, if there is a playground in the area, I think it's a good law.
When I go to a park with my children, I check out every single adult to see whether or not they have a reason for being in the park. If I see someone not clearly with a child, I keep my eye on them.
With playground equipment, it's damned near impossible to keep one child in view at all times, let alone two or more. If there are no adults in the area who are unaccompanied by children, the odds of someone being there for unsavory purposes diminishes.
As a parent, I like the law - again, provided the woman was in the area of a playground and not just in a park with trees and benches and such.
16. The park where I take my kids has plenty of open space for
people to sit and relax who don't have children. If they are in the area of the playground and don't have children, I watch them VERY closely. They might be innocent, but I'm not going to take any chances.
I've taken my two young cousins to parks before - there is a great difference between a children's play-area, and the park more generally. (That said, I have been known to play on the swings - including once in full academic dress - but only do this when there aren't sprogs around, it's their play-area not mine afterall.)
If this concerns the specific play-area, then I'm perfectly happy with this law - though I wonder whether a slapped-wrist punishment would be more appropriate than a $1000 fine.
But I go to the parks to observe kids because sometimes I get insight into the emotional and social interactions of adolescents by watching smaller children play. Other times, I like the sound of kids playing because it is soothing - if kids can still play, not all can be totally wrong with the world (and the children in my life to whom I am genetically entitled to watch play - niece and nephew - are 700 and 1000 miles away). Still other times, it's to remind myself that while I like kids, I'm not ready to dedicate myself to the full-time care and feeding of one. I do the same thing with adults when I am out and about -- I'm a people watcher.
I'm not a pedophile. I'm not writing up the interactions of said children in any journal. I'm not experimenting on them, I'm not talking to the children, or even observing them directly in a way to disturb their play (because that would defeat my purpose.) I just want to have children and old people and the whole range of humanity as part of my life because that's the way we're built.
But you would have me banned from the parks that I support with my tax dollars at a higher rate than you do - being childless, we pay far more in taxes than you do. Your children have access to the parks from which you want to ban me and people like me because of me and people like me.
Think if the situation was reversed, and we made child-free parks and public spaces. You would throw fits if your kid was not allowed on the bike trails or hiking paths.
If you don't want your kids to fall prey to dangerous types, then keep an eye on them, teach them to think critically and be prudent with offers that seem too good to be true, help them learn to be brave and assertive (a pedophile is more likely to prey on a kid that appears fearful and uncertain than one who is confident, according to several studies). Check out their ministers/priests, teachers, babysitters, mentors and other adults - kids are more likely to be abused by someone in a position of trust than a stranger. Be suspicious of your brothers, brother-in-laws and male cousins, because an adult male relative is more of a danger to a child than a stranger.
But don't put the blame for pedophilia on random strangers who happen to be using a public park.
"But you would have me banned from the parks that I support with my tax dollars at a higher rate than you do - being childless, we pay far more in taxes than you do. Your children have access to the parks from which you want to ban me and people like me because of me and people like me."
I like watching kids play little league and pop warner football. I'm not a pervert and I would never talk to a stranger's kid or touch them for any reason. I just like to watch them having fun and enjoying the game. As a man though I know that I will be automatically suspicioned (not the word but you know what I mean) so I keep my distance and if I get weird looks I walk on. Thats just the nature of the world we live in.
would you support registration to enter a playground? like at a public school? let people in if they sign in, including children and parents? then the same restrictions apply to everyone, like at a public school. seems like it would solve the problem, right?
74. Parents & babysitters are FAR more likely to abuse kids than a stranger
in the park. There's actually very little chance that a child will be abducted by a stranger. Maybe we should be prohibiting caretakers from entering the park, since they're statistically much more likely to be abusers? :shrug:
30. But, it's a playground. It's a place for children to play and
parents should be entitled to some sense of security while they are playing with their children. If it were just a regular park, I would completely agree with you, but it's a playground. As a parent, it is very, very difficult to watch children and keep them in view at all times - they are constantly being hidden from view by the tunnels, the climbing walls and the other equipment. And, as I posted earlier, the average time it takes for a pedophile to lure a child away is 35 seconds.
39. A law is enacted to protect children and it's wrong because
someone is inconvenienced? This is New York City, fer fux sake - Fine. Then I suppose it would be okay for her to demand entry onto the playground of a public school to eat her lunch. After all, it's public property and she is a tax paying citizen!
are a public good, the supreme court says so. Therefore, as a public good, they are funded by the public. no problem. but everyone in those places has to be registered. everyone. the kids, the parents, the janitors, visitors, everyone. The school I taught at knew everyone on campus, at all times, teachers wore ID, staff wore ID, visitors, (including parents) needed to identify themselves at the front desk and get a temporary ID badge to gain access. They then wore that badge at all times.
So, unless I register at the front desk and show a reason for being there, I can't get access, nor can you, even if your child is a student. So the same rules apply to both of us, the fact you have children doesn't give you any more rights to unfettered access than I.
in order to be admitted to city playgrounds, everyone should be required to submit to the same fingerprinting and background check that public schools are supposed to use. After passing, you must register your children with the Parks department where they, and you, will be issued bar coded bracelets. the bar codes must be scanned upon entrance to a public playground, you may enter with your children, the guard will have access to their information, via the barcode scanner. the bracelets will also be scanned upon exiting the park. If you want to have another child with you, the parent or legal guardian must register you, with your barcode information, as a legal escort for that child, before you can enter. You must reregister your information, including updated photographs, every six months. the playground is a public good, paid for by the city, no problem. the security measures are registration based, every adult costs $50 every 6 months, every child $20 every six months. You can then let them play to their heart's content.
You and I are equal New York citizens, for the sake of argument.
You and I pay the same taxes for public services, which include parks and playgrounds.
But I am prohibited from using 10% of those parks and playgrounds, because I don't have children.
Shouldn't I pay 10% less to support these public services? I already pay the same amount as you to support the public education system, which your family will use more than mine, and I don't grouse about that. So don't I deserve a rebate for being prohibited from using some public facilities.
Here's another scenario:
Let's say, again for the sake of argument, that somehow it's proven that all pedophiles are Korean.
That doesn't mean all Koreans are pedophiles.
But imagine if a law was passed, based on the proven statistic that all pedophiles are Korean, that all Koreans were banned from public playgrounds and some parks.
Asx a liberal, as a person who stands for equality and fairness, would you stand for that?
Plus, this whole law is based on the assumption that single, childless people are the predominant statistic of pedophiles. So do parents never diddle their kids or other kids? How about other children? Don't they also occasionally display abnormal pedophilia? What if a 12 year old boy sat alone in the playground? Would he be arrested? Because, technically, he could also be a pedophile.
I pay $110 per month for the use of the community pool/tennis courts. Every hour for fifteen minutes, my nine year old has to get out of the pool for 'adult swim'. I don't use the pool, so my family is only getting 75% usage out of the pool.
You don't hear any adults, except me, complaining about that.
208. LOL. I have an issue with adults who think that their
relaxation at a pool for which we all pay the same amount allows them to co-opt said pool for 25% of the time. I wouldn't have an issue if one of the other pools were adults only, but seriously, why would you move into a family type neighborhood and join a family type pool and expect the kids to turn over the pool to you 25% of the time? I don't think that is realistic.
The club has lots of adult only activities, including many during the day when the kids are in school, so I don't understand why some of these adults have an issue with the kids being in the pool with them.
What if I have a sack lunch and decide to go sit outside in the nearest park and enjoy my lunch? And the closest park happens to be a playground? It does have a bench and trees, yes? Then of course I should be allowed to sit there and enjoy the outdoors. You want security, then go play in your own backyard. If you don't have a backyard then you have to share the public park.
Rephrased a tad "I couldn't care less whether your child get killed, abducted &c. - just as long as I can sit anywhere I want to eat my lunch". :puke:
What if whilst you're eating your lunch you start to choke - do I as a bystander sit there saying that it's none of my business, or I do assist a fellow human?
Civilisation means that we compromise on what we all want to do to improve matters for everybody. It means acknowledging that we are all bound together in a society, and that we all care for everybody else within that society.
348. The playgrounds are separate from the parks, which far outnumber them
in this city. You'd really be going out of your way to sit in a playground as opposed to a public park here. They're just trying to address a problem, as ineffective as this rule is in actually preventing it. It's not just a random "fuck you, childless people" from NYC.
we have an expectation that every park is open to us at all times. What park isn't going to have kids in it, especially in Manhattan? Why should the woman who got arrested have an expectation that it was kids-and-their-adults-only? Yes, it is my right as a taxpaying New Yorker (and we pay payroll-deducted city tax, too, not just state and fed) to sit in any fucking park I find!
55. children are not allowed in public playgrounds without an adult
so yes, under the current rules, sorry. You want to keep your children perfectly safe, should we ban any adult from being anywhere where children might be?
would you let your children walk to the park alone? then it doesn't do any good to ban people from the park, they are more at risk on the sidewalk getting there. Society is not your babysitter, you are responsible for your children, not me.
then you need to control your children better. You need to teach them to stay within your eyesight at all times, or bring another trusted adult along to help you watch them. The fact that you can't keep an eye on your children at all times is not my problem, it's yours. sorry about that. I don't know, I spent a lot of time as a kid without adults around, I was taught, at a very young age, to not listen to any stranger outside (except policemen) when I was alone. My parents and I had a password, if an adult didn't know it, I didn't talk to them. Somehow I survived. If your children aren't old enough, or responsible enough, to do that, and you are scared for them, they need to never be out of your sight, or that of a responsible adult you trust, at any time.
on this thread that it is understandable and a good thing for parents to be watchful. and being scared is just part of the responsibility. doesn't mean that other people's rights can be restricted to make it easier on the parents.
188. So, a parent is in a playground with their children when 12 or so
people enter wearing gang colors. They aren't doing anything wrong, but are just sitting there staring at the kids. And, you think parents and police should just sit there and wait for something to happen?
203. I see your point JJ, but I just think this is going to lead
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 03:40 PM by Shell Beau
to bad things. It already has. Look at the poor woman who was arrested and is now a "sex offender". Those words should be saved for the scum of the earth. How many more people are going to get that label? What if you were the woman who innocently was sitting at a park? Now your life is ruined.
Kids are fast. It's easy to lose sight of them on occassion. There are large non-transparent playground equipment in a playground. There are tunnels and rock climbing walls and other toys to obstruct ones view. It is impossible to keep an eye on two small children every second of being in a park and, for some people, a park is the ONLY place they have to take their kids for outdoor recreation/exercise. This is New York City - people don't have fenced in back yards. A park with a fence that does not allow adults is the next best thing.
And please STOP lecturing me on ways to keep my children safe. I am well aware of all the techniques used - it's starting to sound as if you are being condescending.
for parks, no. Although I think there should be. And there is a quantifiable difference between greenspaces, avaliable to everyone, and playgrounds. And yes, in fenced off playgrounds, there is generally a notice that children must be supervised by an adult.
you are required to send your children to school of some sort (whether public, private or home schooled) so there is a higher burden on the state to provide security for something that is mandated. There is no mandate that you have to take them to a park, so there is a lower mandate for security there.
34. I don't disagree with the rule, but I do disagree with the cops.
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 01:02 PM by LoZoccolo
I think for some limited specially-designated places for kids to play like playgrounds, I don't really think the rule is a big deal as far as infringement of public space. Now of course I don't know what transpired between the arrested woman and the police, but I would think a simple warning to leave would have sufficed. I imagine the profession attracts people with authoritarian personalities who will fine and jail you for percieved disrespect of the rules regardless of any lack of social harm due to your actions.
it's more important to me that areas of parks be set aside for adults, I want to sit there and read a book under a tree without screaming kids around. No adults in playgrounds, fine. no kids in the rest of the park.
I have to do everything I can to keep them safe. It is my sacred duty to do that and if a goddamned fence and a no admittance sign can give me a leg up on that, then your rights can be a little restricted - it's not going to kill you not to be able to eat your lunch in a playground.
her experiences as a parent and how she feels about this law b/c that is what she has to go on. Her parental experiences help form her opinion on this. But when you turn it around and say that she is a bad parent (or at least imply) b/c she does whatever, then you are making it personal. That is her business. No one appreciates being called a bad parent. I think the way she is arguing her point shows that she is a wonderful parent! She has her kids best interest at heart. You shouldn't have went there.
It is not a witch hunt. I am on the same side of the issue as you. But using that to help prove your point wasn't fair. It was kind of a low blow. I am not mad at you, but I don't think you should have gone there to help your case. Again JMO!!
On edit, you should have took into consideration how that would make JJ feel for you to say that.
163. I'm going to back pedal a little bit on this.
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 02:48 PM by Jara sang
OK, OK, wait... I "implied" that she was a bad parent? Isn't she implying that all single males who happen to be in the vicinity of parks might be child molesters? But I guess, it's O.K. for her and all... because she's a parent... :eyes:
and still think you went too far. A discussion about the merits of a law banning certain people from certain places does not have anything to do with the posting of pictures of children on a message board. the fact that it is difficult to watch children at a playground, something we all can agree on, has no relevance to a picture thread, or the ability of a parent to keep their child safe in any other capacity.
heck, even if JJ constantly beat her children with an iron rod, (extreme example posted for effect, not something I have any reason to suspect, full disclosure) that would still be irrelevant to the issue at hand.
bringing up information from other threads not relevant to the subject at hand is making the discussion personal and not really conducive to practical discussions.
162. It's okay. We would be on the same page if this was actually
a park, but I am differenting between a park and a city playground. I've seen these playgrounds and I can't imagine why anyone would fuss about not being allowed in. And, often times, these playgrounds are surrounded by parks (although I don't know for sure in this case) making even less of a reason for someone without children to want to enter.
What about the old man in his late seventies who just lost his grandchild and wants to be around the sound of childrens laughter at that particular park? Is he OK? Does he meet with your approval? I guess that quadriplegic dude would be OK too. He can't harm anybody right? Who is going to decide who is a child molester and who is not?
that your child is much more likely to be molested by someone you know than a stranger. The statistics say your child is much more likely to be molested by a parent than a stranger. By a babysitter, or another child, or a trusted adult, or a minister, than by a stranger. you child is much more likely to be killed in a car accident than by a stranger, more likely to fall from the playground and break his or her arm than by a stranger. more likely to die in a fire in your house, than by being kidnapped.
there is only so far you can reduce risk, it's a big scary world, and pre-emption of other people's rights to expand yours reminds me a lot of the rationale for the invasion of Iraq, our right to peace of mind outweighed the rights of Iraq to exist. That's where this leads.
but in the 3.5 years I've lived in the Greater Toronto Area (population around 5 million), there have been only 2 stranger abductions of children that I know of. In one case, the girl was walking on a sidewalk in her neighbourhood, in the other the victim was taken from her home at night.
There's a lot of eyes and ears in a playground. It may be an attractive spot for a predator because of the presence of kids, but there's typically enough adult supervision in such an environment to make it unfeasible for such a monster to try to pull any shit.
You may lose track of your kids for a few seconds, but other adults present will be alert if things don't feel right. (If they have the slightest sense of community spirit, that is.)
and you are talking about the potential for molestation. you are typecasting all adults as potential molesters of children, which is a good thing from the perspective of a parent, you should be careful. But the very low potential for any individual to be a child abuser cannot be used to restrict my rights. You are right to keep an eye on me, I'd do the same thing (and do when I babysit for friends by taking their kids to the park) but in that case it is my responsibilty to make sure I watch them at all times. When I take them to the pool, even though there is a lifeguard there, it's my job to take care of them, not depend on an arbitrary rule to protect them.
It's tough, no doubt, but such are the responsibilities of child rearing, I'm only glad I only have them a couple of hours every week or two, not 24-7.
155. Do you think it's ok to not allow me to sit in a park among your children?
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 02:28 PM by Misunderestimator
I don't think I want to live in a country that tells me which areas of the public are open to childless little me. :shrug:
Yes, public parks can be dangerous for children, and probably do attract predators... we should do more to protect children, in ways that would actually protect them, like providing guards to the parks, or establishing some sort of group like a Neighborhood Watch group. To BAN people who do not come in with a child in tow is idiotic and short-sighted. Many child molestors do have children (or grandchildren, or nieces or nephews) of their own you know.
170. It's not a park, it's a playground and there is a difference.
And, it's in New York City, perhaps this is the only place these children have to play. These areas are typically small with not much space for anything other than the equipment.
Why is it so important to someone to sit in one of these playgrounds when a public park is accessible to them? I do understand how you can see it as a violation of your rights, but I'm telling you, as someone who has been there, that it is impossible to watch a child at all times who is playing on this type of equipment.
And, if lots of people (men and women) were sitting around the playground because they felt like it, it makes my job, as a parent, that much more difficult because now I have to keep an eye on all these other adults to make sure they aren't acting suspiciously and watch my kids at the same time.
Quite frankly, I would leave before I did that. So now, lots of people are sitting in a playground because they are exercising their right to do so and my kids are stuck in a city apartment because it may or may not be safe for them to play in a playground specifically designed for their enjoyment.
173. I lived in Manhattan for 10 years... and I have sat in those playgrounds
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 02:52 PM by Misunderestimator
many times before. I think that we should be concerned and guard those playgrounds, absolutely. I wouldn't mind my tax dollars (that I already donate to educate the same kids I don't have myself) to protect them in those playgrounds. But to tell me I cannot go in there and risk ARREST if I do... no... that's where the line NEEDS to be drawn.
In the end, parents ARE responsible for their children. If our government is incapable of maintaining peace in our society and making it a safe place for our children, lets deal with that problem, instead of putting bandaids that make no sense on it.
175. The story isn't clear. I got the impression that they asked her to leave
the park and she refused and was issued a summons. If they just slapped her with a ticket, then I would agree.
I just don't see the harm of having designated areas for these kids. BTW - I tried desperately to find this place on the map, and it appears to be somewhere in the Bowery. I don't know what that means, but if it is in a bad neighborhood, then I think it's a good ordinance.
Again, even though this time, it was a lone woman (who should have only been warned), what if it were 12 or so gang members? Without an ordinance, the police would have no way to legally remove them.
Listen - During the summer, I sometimes walk down to Crown Fountain to have my lunch. It's scenic, and a good place to sit and read or do whatever. I also get a kick out of watching all the kids splash around in the water, and on occasion, I take my shoes off and have a splash as well. Should I get a ticket for doing that? Should I be run off by the cops?
302. And when I see someone come into a restaurant with kids,
I don't know that they're not gonna be screaming and raising a ruckus.
I think judging someone guilty by association is assinine.
If we can keep childless people out of playgrounds just because they might be a pedophile (which is so rare as to be laughable), then we can keep children out of restaurants because they might be loud, and we can keep black people out of libraries because they might play their iPod loud enough for everyone to hear, and we can keep women out of sporting goods stores because they might drop an expensive scope, and we can keep men out of women's clothing stores because they might have a bra fetish, and we can keep teenagers out of malls because they might paint graffiti...
See, this is all insanely assinine. "Person A" can't do something, because "Person B" is afraid that "People like Person A" might pose a threat.
If it's a public park (whether you want to go through the bullshit semantics of calling it a "playground" or a "play area", it's still a "public park"), then EVERYONE gets to be in it.
My God, when I was in NYC in July, I sat in one of the dog run areas at Union Square and..... E-FUCKING-GADS!.... I HAD NO DOG WITH ME! I might have been a dog thief! Or a dog rapist!
328. nor does it revolve around you because you don't.
My children are denied access to all sorts of places because of their age. You don't hear me screaming about their "rights"
The entire argument on this thread is ridiculous. It basically boils down to "you are soley responsible for the safety of your children, but you are paranoid because you take that responsibility too seriously." :eyes:
223. I'm not defending the law, but that is stupid.
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 04:17 PM by Pithlet
Both children and adults have a reason to attend a restaurant. An adult without a child really doesn't have a reason to be at a playground. While I think upholding the law to the point of fines and prison time is ludicrous, I think it is equally so that some of the childfreers in this thread are indignant about not being allowed in a frigging playground. I can't believe that anyone who loathes children to the point that they don't want to see them in restaurants is all that put out about being banned from a playground. Sorry.
If I have this right, then it's "Please don't bring your spawn to restaurants because they bug me, but don't complain if I creep you out by hanging out at playgrounds because it's my right to be there"?
There are three "public" outdoor spaces in my neighborhood. 2 of them are normal parks. One is filled exculsively with children's rec equipment (swings, jungle gyms, etc.) and is completely fenced off. It also has a sign posted on the gate saying that adults are not allowed in without children.
And I have absolutely no problem with that. If I'm going to the park to relax, I'm going to one of the actual parks anyways, not the kiddie play area.
If the law prevents even one child in NYC from being abused or kidnapped (or worse), it's quite all right by me and is a fine use of my tax monies.
allowing government to do this is just so wrong on so many levels. Suppose, I glance at you and decide that you might be a child molester? The fact that you don't have children is predilection to you probably a child molester? Puhh-lease.
301. Can we quit with the slippery slope arguments?
I agree with your stance that it's not a good law, but the slippery slope is a really irritating rhetorical device. It sidetracks the issue at hand and refocuses the debate on circumstances that'll never happen.
"You give the government power to tax its citizens? Then what next? You give them the power to extract people's kidneys?"
"They pass an ordinance against public urination! It's an outrage. Will this control of our excretory functions stop? Next thing you know, they'll try to ban all urination!!!"
Condescension? Sorry... not how I meant it. It's just that some on this thread are acting as if GOD came down and told them to DEFEND THE RIGHTS OF PLAYGROUND-ATTENDING CHILDLESS ADULTS and it's more than a bit pathetic.
157. The fine and the possibility of being put on a list is way excessive IMO,
but I agree. The number of regular parks and sitting areas in NYC far exceeds the number of parks specifically devoted to children. I don't see why there should be such an uproar that this rule would be put in place.
57. Why do you feel such a compelling need to go sit on a bench
near a playground? Doesn't the safety of the children and the peace of mind of the parent allow you to think, "hey, I'm sorry that they need this in this day and age, but if it makes them safer, then who am I to complain?"
some responsibility to children. Of course they are their parents responsibility. But we as a society should always have the children's best interest at heart. I just don't think that this law is necessarily the answer.
144. I feel a compelling need to not be disciminated against
for arbitrary reasons. I have been in many parks as a stranger to the town, either walking my dogs, using their facilities or just getting off the road and out of the sun for a while. Usually they have playground equipment and kids. Other than school playgrounds, I have never seen a fenced park. I doubt if I would feel safe in a city or a society that felt the need to fence its parks.
My point was that this area -- Rivington Playground -- and the other areas designated like it are not parks. They are playgrounds for children.
HOV lanes on the interstate are also funded by tax dollars, but it's illegal to drive on them if you're by yourself. Everyone going to get all up in arms about that cause they're funded by tax money?
Should I have had the right to enter the Teacher's Lounge at my school growing up because it was funded by tax payer's money? Or the judge's chambers next time I'm at court? (I work for a law firm, btw, not a raging criminal.) Or just be allowed to go wondering around the Pentagon? Or the DOT? Or a prison? All of these areas are off limits to certain members of the public, yet are funded by taxpayers. Where's the outrage there?
You'd think people wouldn't mind the creation of tiny (most of the areas like this by me are about 300 sq. ft. at most) little sanctuaries for children.
Is it discriminatory that you aren't allowed in a public school during school hours unless you have a legitimate reason to be there? Is it discriminatory to not allow you to be a student there? Is it discriminatory to only allow disabled people to park in a handicapped space? Is it discriminatory to not allow me into a hospital unless I have a legitimate reason to be there?
Restricting a place or a thing to the group for which it is intended is not automatically discriminatory. If enough adults who wish to go to playgrounds petitioned it, I'm sure an adult only playground could be managed. I just don't see that happening, but I would have nothing against such an adult only, or mixed children/adults playground. Just as I don't have a problem with a child only playground.
So I assume, then, that the City of New York meticulously examines the tax base to ensure that no childless adults' taxes are used to support this and other playgrounds?
This is another example of how the childless are marginalised and discriminated against. In this case, guilty of sex crimes because of where they choose to sit.
So, ultimately, I guess anyone who is childless and has a view of a playground and buys binoculars should ultimately be arrested, too, because they might use them to observe playgrounds from their apartments.
It's nuts. Here's an idea: be responsible for your kids' safety. If it takes more than one person to watch your children, have a friend/partner help you. If you can't do that, perhaps you shouldn't have children. But I suppose your right to be a negligent parent superscedes my right to sit in a public place and do whatever (legal) thing I please.
269. Look. I know this is difficult for you to understand because you don't
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 07:21 PM by JimmyJazz
have children, but this is a picture of typical playground equipment:
Please take note: It isn't translucent. It's damned near impossible not to lose sight of a child while they are playing for let's say 35 seconds at a time (the same amount of time it would take a predator to abduct a child). Now, put that same equipment in an inner city where crime rates are higher than in the suburbs. People have found it effective to put a fence around the same playground and have ordinances in an effort to protect children.
No offense, but my tax dollars also go toward the upkeep and maintenance of the pentagon and you don't hear me complaining because I don't have access to it.
I know single people feel marginalized for various reasons. This shouldn't be one of them.
On edit: I'm really tired of the argument that bad parenting is the cause of the problem. Were you ever lost in a supermarket or store? Was it because of bad parenting? I didn't think so.
280. Were you with your children when you took that photo?
Because I think taking (or downloading) photos of playground equipment is indicitave of pederastic behaviour. Although, as a parent, you're probably above reproach. But just to be safe, I think I'll call the cops on you.
This issue isn't difficult for me to understand, despite my overwhelming handicap of not having children; I clearly understand both sides of the issue, and I remain firm on my educated opinion: your child's rights are not greater than my own.
79. I first heard about this law almost 3 years ago
If she's convicted, no matter what she gets...90 days or $1000...she'll also be listed on the sex offender list.
I couldn't believe when I first heard about it that anyone could condone or apologize for such nonsense but I had to leave a list I was on because people were saying that if you didn't have kids you had no right to be in the park and you MUST be a pedophile if you wanted to be there.
Like many others, I can't for the life of me understand why the cops didn't point out the sign and ask her to leave. Not to mention that the chance of her being a female pedophile is almost nil. One out of 1000 pedophiles is a woman.
143. But will it be worth the negative that comes out of it?
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 02:18 PM by Shell Beau
I understand why parents would like this law. I think we all have children's safety on our minds and want to keep kids safe. But what about all of the negatives that come out of this. Sure if one kid is saved, that will be wonderful and seem to make this law worth it. But what if 20, 40, even 50 people are innocently labeled as sex offenders? It has already happened to one woman. Is this really the best way to protect the children?
216. But you obviously can't have it both ways. Ask the
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 04:06 PM by Shell Beau
woman who just got arrested!
And at what age do you cut off a kid from going in the park? Technically adulthood (legally) doesn't start until the age of 18. Are 18 year olds allowed in a park w/o kids? Or are they considered teenagers and not kids. 12 years old? Some 13 year olds still like to play at the park. 15? 16? When?
158. yet we never like new ones when they are applied to us
even in theory. I take that as a good sign that people are outraged about it. It is sorta the reverse of that famous quote "First they took away the rights of the childless and I did not complain because I was not childless. Then ..."
people got excited about a law that said a black person must give up their seat to a white person. So why not a little outrage about a law that says a childless person must give up their seat to a parent.
and pools and libraries and schools, etc. Thousands of dollars are spent to get children to school in this town, but there is no similar public transportation for adults. There are many vans driving around which say "general public transportation" but they are apparently for senior citizens or disabled people. For me to go 2.5 miles to a store, I am on my own. How is it any different to say 'Playgrounds (or parks, which I thought we were talking about) are for children' and then exclude childless adults. Is that much better or different than saying 'buses are for white people' and then excluding blacks? Adults cannot help being adults any more than blacks can help being black. I have done my share of swinging and climbing too since the age of 20. I thought it was neat in Deutschland when the train I was riding on filled up with children. In America, that would not be thought safe.
if it isn't for them? Playgrounds aren't for adults. They're for children. Just as handicapped spots aren't for the able bodied. A favorite hiking spot of mine once made an entire entrance for handicapped parking only. It meant I had to hike an extra half a mile to get to the waterfalls. I can't even imagine throwing a fit about that, just as I can't imagine throwing a fit about not being allowed on a playground without children. It's for the children, for God's sake.
If too many adults unaccompanied by children are ruining something that's strictly for children, then I don't see why rules changing that are such a horrible thing.
Really, I do think I've changed my mind on this position. When I think of it, I've seen enough public playgrounds ruined by vandalism to justify such rules. And vandalism isn't even the only problem, nor the least of it. Why is it such a problem that a government make something for children and ensure that children continue to enjoy that thing? Like someone else said, there are enough places where children aren't even allowed, and no one thinks that's such an egregious violation of rights?
most of them have playground equipment, and you are talking about excluding childless adults because some of them might be pedophiles and some might be vandals.
A change that means you have to walk a little further is not the same as a change that excludes you. It excludes you from those parking spots, but not from the entire facility.
If there are enough adults who goto the children's park to "ruin" it, then perhaps the government needs to do something so they have somewhere to go as well, but it still sounds to me like "separate but equal".
I'm talking about excluding adults because it's not for them. Not for them. Not for adults. Playgrounds aren't built for adults. They're built for children. Adults generally do not wish to play on the see saw or swing on the swings, do they? Honestly? Is telling an adult that they can't play on the swingset a horrible exclusion?
Most parks do not have playground equipment. In fact, few around here do. But, the ones that do often have signs saying "This area is intended for children under aged 9", or some such horrifying garment rending exclusion.
It is excluding me from that parking spot. The only reason I'm not whaling and gnashing my teeth over it is because I understand the reason why. Just as I understand that swingsets and slides are not a typical adult attraction. I'm not calling for a nationwide ban on all playgrounds from adults. If a municipality does not wish or doesn't see the need to make any rules, then okay.
I just think that the outrage in this thread by *some* of the adults in this thread is disingenuous as a month cannot go by here in the lounge without SOMEONE crying about children at a restaurant. The notion that parents and children should be excluded from the public sphere unless the kids are stepfordian is common, but the notion that a playground should be for children is worthy of a civil rights movement just strikes me as silly.
264. the woman in question was sitting on a park bench
just like my man aqualung. She was not excluded from the swings, she was excluded from the park, not a spot in the park, not an attraction in the park, the entire park. It is a big deal to me when someone says to me, or to someone like me, "you can't even watch, no you can't eat, you ain't supposed to be here. The sign said, you got to be accompanying a child to get inside."
268. And I've said that her punishment is a gross overreaction
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 06:30 PM by Pithlet
She wasn't excluded from the entire park, just that section of the park. Even so, I think labeling her a sex offender is outragious, and I agree with anyone who thinks so.
There simply isn't anything wrong with "This portion of the park with playground equipment intended for children is restricted to children and their accompnying adults". There just isn't. Those that want to make this some kind of social injustice are overreacting in the extreme. There is nothing wrong with setting aside things for children. It simply isn't discriminatory. Everyone is a child at some point in their life. Childhood/adulthood simply isn't a defining factor through one's entire life. And, it's not as though there aren't plenty of playgrounds that DON'T have those restrictions. It is no more discriminatory then telling a 35 year old he can't attend classes at McKinley Elementary Public School.
182. Actually, it's the opposite of profiling. If it were profiling, then
there would be no ordinance and it would be at police discretion to determine who does and does not belong which means men would be profiled. Since NO adult is allowed to enter the park area without a child, then it doesn't discriminate against men.
I think you are looking at this as one woman/one minor infraction of a stupid law. But, think in terms of numbers. What if it wasn't one woman, but ten very large men? Because I've gotta tell you that if I'm in one of these little parks with my children and ten men come in and sit on the bench because, "well, god dammit, that's their right," then me and every other responsible mother is out of there.
It sort of defeats the purpose of having playground equipment if the kids and parents are afraid to be in the playground.
237. But zoos are designed for people of all ages. I'm wary of why
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 04:56 PM by JimmyJazz
someone would be so compelled to enter an area designated for children. I would be extra cautious of anyone without children who insisted on eating in a Chuckie Cheese's, too and yet, not bat an eyelash if the same person sat near me in an Applebee's.
Again, I am definitely making a distinction between a park and a playground. I guess I just don't understand why it's such a big deal for kids to have a designated area.
I do understand that society tends to marginalize single/childless people. I was single and childless before, too. But, I just think having a small area in a park isn't such a big deal.
And, if you notice, many of the people upset about this law are the same ones who raise a big stink if a child misbehaves in a grocery store or restaurant (and, I don't mean you). So which is it with them? Are children so wonderful that one must be around them in a playground or so heinous that they shouldn't be allowed in public until they are 18?
240. What? I shouldn't eat at Chuckie Cheese? Are you kidding me?
You know, sometimes, I have been known to actually swing on swings in playgrounds and climb around the monkeybars... as an adult.
I think the real point here is that it does NOT solve a THING. It's a bandaid on this threat of a problem, and it doesn't solve the problem.
As for the misbehaving in public... I think we should ban ANYONE who would run top speed through the aisles screaming and disrupting other customers, or any person who would disrupt everyone in a restaurant by having a loud, keening cry or a kicking, screaming tantrum. :)
The antipathy towards children and parents that is often displayed by many at DU is offputting, to say the least. I'm in your corner, girl. You are absolutely right. I'm not buying the faux-outrage by some in this thread for one second.
241. Please stop calling it a "public park" - it is not a public park
if it were, I would be in complete agreement with you. It is a playground for children. A small area designated for kids and their parents. And the reasoning behind the ordinance is that there is no valid reason for anyone without children to be in that area that could possibly supercede the safety of the children in the playground.
The playground in my neighborhood is across the street from a seniors complex; every day as I go to work both elderly men and women are sitting on the benches by the playground talking to each other, parents there, reading, or simply relaxing. Nobody has complained, and nobody has tried to get them arrested, because it's a non-issue.
My wife and I just went to this playground last weekend and used the swing sets and had fun; other parents w/ their kids were there, and didn't try to have us kicked out. We even had a nice convo w/ one. Should they have followed your lead and had us kicked out, too?
229. Again I'll state that I don't necessarily support this law
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 04:30 PM by Pithlet
But not because it's profiling. Playgrounds are for children. They aren't for adults. So, how is it profiling exactly?
Seriously, while my initial thought was that this is a ridiculous law, I'm starting to rethink it. Why is it such an imposition to have things that are for children and children alone? What is so awful about limiting playgrounds, a thing strictly for children, to children? It isn't any more profiling than having handicapped parking spaces. I have no problem with fining non-handicapped people from using them, and I do not see THAT as profiling. If too many adults unaccompanied by children are ruining something that is *supposed* to be for children, then why is it so awful to remedy that? Everyone's examples in this thread, zoos, restaurants, etc. are places for both children and adults.
Adults don't suffer marginalization from society from being adults, so the argument that it is profiling just doesn't work.
It is based on the assumption that playgrounds are for children. Pedophiles aren't the only reason to ban adults. Like I've said before, I've seen enough public playgrounds ruined to the point of disuse by vandalism. Children can also be intimidated by bigger kids and adults and leave the playground. All kinds of reasons.
It isn't excluding a group for the sake of excluding that group or to send a message of any inferiority of that group, it is merely limiting use to those for whom it was intended. There is no huge conspiracy out there to marginalize adults and their participation in society. It's merely keeping playgrounds functioning for those who's use it is intended for.
I'm not defending that specific law. The idea that excluding adults from a children's playground is discriminatory is the only thing I'm arguing here. I think the specific law being mentioned is ridiculous and I've said so elsewhere in this thread. But the arguments being used in this thread are almost as ridiculous. The notion that this is a discrimination issue worthy of Martin Luther King is beyond laughable.
that the idea that playgrounds are for children would be such a flameworthy topic. I'm willing to bet that a large chunk of the people who are indignant over this don't even know where most of the playgrounds are located in their community. This whole thread is absurd.
it's absurd. I am a parent and I think it's unfair to ban all adults not with kids... it's over-protective and negative. Everyone just needs to watch their kids... this kind of law bans good people as well as the creeps. Makes no sense - I enjoy watching other adults - young, old, etc. enjoy kids playing.
247. I think one of the reasons may be that these areas are enclosed,
almost private areas sometimes(for the playgrounds in my Brooklyn neighborhood, you had to open a gate to get in). Maybe part of the reasoning is that that semi-privacy is attractive to drug dealers. :shrug: I do know that drug paraphernalia being left behind and found by kids is a big problem throughout the city, it comes up in letters to the editor all the time.
I think it gives a false sense of security and could be more dangerous"
That's the same argument I make for banning specific breeds of dogs. The part I don't get is how a liberal can support legislation like the 'no childless adults" and breed specific legislation...
I have a child; I am in fact a single mother. I do not assume that childless adults are all pedophiles waiting for me to turn my back so they can abduct my child. I prefer to live my life assuming that MOST people are good. Am I careful? You bet! But paranoid enough to legislate away other rights??! Fuck no.
266. But some people love to watch children playing...
And have no intent to cause harm. Some people just find it delightful to see the little ones putzing around in the sand or on a swing.
I can understand the intent of the law, and I'm not sure if I really support it, but I can comfortably say that the punishment seems a bit steep.
Of course, this reminds me of the cruelty perpetrated on numerous Chuck E. Cheese visiting adults that are denied entrance into that most excellent of amusements - the massive ball pit. I guess some things are intended to be only for children... ball pits, kiddie playgrounds, elementary school.
All in all, this law doesn't really invoke much emotion from me, but I can hear and appreciate both sides.
270. Good point, but the Chuck E. Cheese ball pit analogy doesn't fly....
unless you were to compare it to a jungle-gym where parents usually do NOT join their children. Otherwise, Chuck E. Cheese would have to ban all adults unless accompanied by a child, from the entire place, not just the ball pit. That would be a valid comparison.
I was just trying to think of other specific places where adults are not allowed to partake in play. I wasn't really trying to make an analogy or a comparision... in fact, I don't even think I was trying to make a point. I was really just lamenting the fact that I can't play in the ball pit, though I would very much like to.
I would SO be there. I'd be doing this annoying little dance/skipping-type thing designed to convey my childlike glee for all things bouncy and plastic ballish. I'll bring the tiki torches and faux Easter Island head statue-shaped cups just for an unrelated, yet kitschy ambiance.
314. I think that people secretly want in on the party...
and to this I say...
There shall be no law expressly prohibiting any adult from partaking in moonbounce/ball/beer/kitsch festivities at chez progmom. So hop on the fun train and be sure to bring a fun snack to share. No ants on a log, please.
273. I used to feel that way about ball pits, too.
I remember thinking it was too bad they didn't have those when I was a kid. Until I found out that they're major dirt and debris collectors. I won't gross you out with the details. Now I won't let my own kids play in them anymore.
282. Oh, but the same parents who defend "no lone adult" zones would never...
...support anything as unfair as a "child-free" zone. How are little Britney and Dalton going to become socially adjusted if they're not immersed in every aspect of adult culture all day, every day?
FWIW, when BC Ferries restructured, they polled their passneger demographic on ways to improve the service. One of the most popular suggestions was having a "no children" zone, because so many parents seem to have no interest/skill in haveing their children be reasonably non-intrusive.
Of course, an "no children" zone would be legally unconstitutional (and open the corporation to legal action), so BC Ferries went the other way; they created a "quiet zone" on some of their routes, which cost an additonal $7 per person to enter. It's not legal for them to prohibit children from the zone, but parents never, ever, want to shell out an extra $7 per child to enter, so problem solved.
I have nothing wrong with places and events that aren't kid friendly being reserved for adults. And I don't see any evidence of anyone else in this thread who feels otherwise. I think you have a prejudice against us and are interpreting things in this thread to fit that prejudice. No one in this thread has argued against adult only anything.
In fact, if you have no problem with adult oriented places and activities restricting children, then why are you so bothered by those oriented towards children restricting adults? While the law that the OP is about is absolutely absurd, I don't think a specific playground posting restrictions limiting the playground to children's use an egregious violation of rights. I don't understand that double standard.
>support anything as unfair as a "child-free" zone. How are little Britney and Dalton going to become socially adjusted if they're not immersed in every aspect of adult culture all day, every day?<
Somehow, I just knew I'd get to use this one somewhere.
A group of our friends went to Gay Bingo last June. (For those who haven't been, Gay Bingo in Seattle is bingo games run by drag queens. I highly recommend it.) To say that Gay Bingo is not a child-friendly activity is an understatement. Since one can't legally play bingo for prizes in Washington State till one is 18, one would think this would keep out the small fry. Uh-uh. On this particular night, the table across from ours featured three elementary school aged children, obviously bored. I'm sure that they would have enjoyed a more age-appropriate activity.
The best part of the evening for us? Anyone who's been to Gay Bingo knows that when a certain pair of numbers is called in the game (typically denoting a consensual sex act between adults,) the entire crowd is exhorted to stand up, wave their daubers and shout, "O-**!" The room quieted for just a moment after this demonstration of debauchery ;-), and I could hear the youngest child as clear as can be: "Mommy, what's "O-**"?"
This poor woman needs to sue the fucking city. ASAP. Stupid law. Somebody without children (or with none present with her) is assumed to be a molester???? Now she has to be on some kind of register when she did NOTHING WRONG? HARMED NO ONE?? Our society is clearly fucked up. Children have more to fear from their own relatives and babysitters than strangers.
289. the law, whether dumb or 1/2 baked, is designed to protect children...
"We pay our taxes. We have the right to sit anywhere in the park we want to!" is a goofy way to look at almost anything.
"I PAY TAXES TO DAMNIT and I want to run red lights!!" that's just dumb-ass.
here in sacramento there is a place in landpark called: fairy tale town. you are not allowed to go in there without a child. the regulation is designed to curtail child predators.
the other day, a family took their simple minded, 35yr old daughter there & was denied entry because she is clearly not a child. she just likes & wanted to see the pretty colors & childlike settings yet she was turned away = them's the rules in: fairy tale town...
First, driving is a privilege not a right, however, it has been recognized public spaces are PUBLIC, as in, no unreasonable restrictions. Also, another thing, this fairy tale town sounds like private property, unless they violate equal rights laws, they can ban based on that particular restriction, that's understandable.
Actually, I don't understand this setup at all, where I live, playgrounds are just the corners of parks with the jungle gym and swings and other playground stuff. Hell they even have ADULT swings in the same location, along with ball parks, soccer and basketball courts in many of them. Basically, these places are playgrounds for people the age of 0 to 100+. Muncipal pools are the same way around here, mixed ages, no restrictions, seems to work fine around here, kiddie pools and all.
In fact, the only restrictions we have in our parks are the standard curfew, which you pay with 10 25 bucks for if caught, and in some of them, no skateboards, bikes, rollerblades/skates obvious safety reasons.
321. the analogy isn't even mine, it is made by a person in the OP...
that by paying taxes you can sit wherever your having paid taxes entitles you to do so. public or not; the practical matter is that that is a low grade form of urban legend. neither i should mention are you "entitled" to sit on a bench in front of children swinging on a swing for having paid taxes. though to address your mention...
a driver's license is in the end: bought, tested, maintained by ancillary factors such as auto insurance, gas prices, mechanical up-keep, and so in a very real sense 'paid for'. to me it is neither privilege nor right; it is something that needs to be thus & so or i have to ride the bus. but it is certainly not 'a privilege' you receive as does a bush family member receive a privilege for having been born into the bush family.
the extension is mine & i stand by it. by simply paying taxes, or for that matter, having folding money in your pocket, you are not by that happenstance endowed with an extracurricular access to & usage of public parks that benefit a far greater vision field of citizens including they whom pay no taxes whatsoever.
my hope is that you have nice public parks in your town. we have several here where i live; but there are certain that had a host of restrictions placed upon them because others were not able to respect the wishes of either the greater whole, the charter, the foundation, or for that matter the republic.
though here i am glad you've brought up "municipal pools" in that i have an opportunity to report my displeasure with having to swim through some taxpayers pee whether their right, privilege, entitlement, or biological need to have expressed themselves however briefly.
there's no way i can say it's a good reg, just that there it is in response to children needing our various protections and oddly...even with the headlines so filled with what they print; a member of 'the clergy' could likely take a bus load of kids to fairy town so go figure :shrug: maybe they hope they are working the averages
351. My 2 cents - it's a good law but a harsh punishment
Personally, as a childless adult the last place I want to hang out is at a kids playground (unless I happen to be with someone with kids).
Unfortunately there are too many creepy people skulking around here so it isn't such a bad thing to have a playground park where adults must be accompanied with their children.
However, the woman could have made an honest mistake. I think I've seen that park in NYC and the sign wasn't that noticable. If she isn't on any sex offender registries I say she should get a warning not to go there again and be done with it. Jail should be for violent criminals not harmless mistakes
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