In the spring of my daughters grade one school year, she came home from school one afternoon so upset. A playground supervisor had told her that she was not allowed to play on the climber at recess. When I asked her why, she replied that she was not allowed on the climber at recess because she was wearing rubber boots. Now, my daughter can be a little dramatic on the best of days (and I know that at 6 years old sometimes things that adults say get lost in translation), so I called the school to find out what had actually transpired on this warm spring day. I was informed, by the principal, that my daughter had told me the story accurately. Due to safety concerns, children are not allowed on the playground climbers if they aren’t wearing “proper footwear”. To which I replied “It is spring, she is wearing rubber boots, that IS proper footwear”. And the principal told me that it is “unsafe” to wear anything but running shoes on the climber because they could fall and injure themselves. “SERIOUSLY??????????” was my reply….”There is a GIANT problem with the education system if your quality of education is transpiring into children that are not smart enough to play on a playground in rubber boots”. Needless to say, the principal didn’t appreciate my remarks – but am I wrong?? Society is so quick to bubble wrap our kids cause God forbid, we wouldn’t want them to hurt themselves…that we are losing touch of reality!! Bubble wrapping our kids is not teaching them any life lessons…sometimes you fall down, sometimes you get hurt…those incidents that happen are the things that teach you, that mould you, that shape you into functioning adult members of society!!!
I tell the story of rubber boots on the playground because the sudden rage in Ontario about banning tobogganing goes to the same point. Bubblewrap. Kids will be kids and they should be allowed to be kids. Why as a society are we so quick to take away our kids’ childhoods? Why do we not want our kids to learn lessons the same way that we did? What we need to be doing is teaching our children about safety but letting them make decisions, even bad ones! Let them fall down, get hurt, pick themselves up and learn something from their mistakes!
There has been a lot of talks in The Town of Orangeville over the last few days around a “No Tobogganing” sign at Murray’s Mountain in Orangeville. Murray’s Mountain has been THE tobogganing destination for Orangeville residents for as far back as I can remember…and that is how it should stay!!
I am completely on board with a sign being there. There are liability issues that would occur if there was no sign warning of potential risk….and I don’t know about you, but I for one do not want my taxes to go up so that we can have it deemed an “official” Town of Orangeville run tobogganing hill…can you imagine the maintenance costs? the costs of having workers on site? What makes me chuckle is that the sign has been there for 5 years…and no one raised a single concern…
Apparently it is being added to the agenda at the council meeting on Monday, January 12th…here’s hoping that a new can of worms hasn’t been opened!!
In my humble opinion, one Orangeville citizen said it best in her post on the Facebook group “Orangeville and Area Q&A and Community Info” (posted on Thursday, January 8th) when she said:
“This is such a funny town, last night there was a meeting about the budget and I think I saw 5 people in attendance – pretty sure budget affects all living in this town. Someone sees a sign posted for no tobogganing and people are prepared to protest. I am happy to see people passionate about Orangeville, this is just an observation”