Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Signs and Shade

In the past week, two things that strike me as very odd have happened at the school the kids attend. The kind of things that just make you want to bang your head on the wall. Wonder what has happened to the world we live in. How did things get to be this way?

The first is a sign. A couple of them, actually. What is a sign anyway? It's just a piece of sheet metal, perched upon a pole, really. It has no authority. No enforcement ability. No recourse if you disobey it. It's a scare tactic. A warning. A reminder of some rule or law that is supposed to be followed, presumably because it makes sense.

Some signs exist to point out the obvious to people too stupid, unaware or selfish to do the right thing without being reminded. The pull up lane outside school is a perfect example of this. Painting the curb red wasn't good enough, even though that pretty universally means it's a fire zone. Signs reminding people that it was a fire zone, and that they couldn't park there had to be installed. And there are a handful of people that still do it anyway. Apparently, they can't read.

While the school is in the mood to put up signs pointing out the obvious, maybe they should add a few more. Like "Don't leave children in unattended, running cars in the parking lot" and "Don't park in a handicapped space unless you are handicapped" and "No, this really isn't a parking space". But that would just be crazy. Or would it? Some people need the signs obviously.

The sign I am referring to isn't directed to the parents at school though. It's directed at the kids. In the very place that they are supposed to be able to release their pent up energy, to use their outside voices, to run and play and laugh, they are now supposed to obey the new signs. The ones that remind them to be courteous to their neighbors and respect their peace and quiet. One cranky person backing up to the school, who happens to work nights, took it upon his or herself to complain enough that they actually put up these signs. Sorry. Last time I checked, schools were full of children. Yes, they can be loud. If you don't want the potentially loud noises that come with children, don't live there. Period.

I heard a parent at school come to the defense of the homeowner. Something about how the house was built before the school. While this might be true, the property was in the hands of the district already and slated for development as a school. If you don't want to live by a school, then don't. If you choose to, deal with it. It's not the fault of 400 children that you work at night. Why is it their responsibility to be quiet for you?

Rather than defend the rights of the children to play and run and laugh, the district put up these signs. What is wrong with people?

The second stroke of genius at school made me laugh out loud, literally. It's that insane. The preschool and kindergarten playground is on the West side of the school, and the equipment gets very hot in the afternoon sun. For years, they have been asking for a shade structure of some kind to cover the equipment, so that the kids could actually play on it year round, regardless of how hot the sun was that day. The district didn't care. Until now. They were cited for not having a shade area in the playground. So they put in a shade structure. Good, right? Not so much.

The brand spanking new shade structure was installed over the tiny patch of grass, not over the play equipment. Apparently, the grass needs to be shaded. Because, well, shade is good for grass, right? Genius.

And they wonder why our education system is failing. Perhaps these two events shed some light on the reason. There is no common sense left. The best interests of the kids aren't really the primary motivator for anything anymore. One whiny person can spoil the fun for everyone. And grass, apparently, needs shade.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Some of My Most Popular Posts