Tuesday, May 27, 2008

More Stairs


The stairs. They're baaaaaack.

They did an OPINION POLL of the parents about which entrance they prefer to drop their kids off at: the stairs or the ramp. According to the cheery-voiced principal, who left a school-wide phone-tree message last night, the "overwhelming majority" preferred the stairs. (Of course they did. It's about 100 feet closer to about 85% of the homes that feed into this school. Comfort first!) So the ramp gate is once again being locked...and the kids are once again being herded up the concrete staircase.

But hey. The "overwhelming majority" prefers it that way. Which is definitely going to make me feel a lot better when some kid splits their head open falling down those stairs on one of our notoriously windy-and-rainy foothill mornings where it's hard enough keeping your footing on the sidewalk, never mind hold onto an umbrella/backpack/lunchbox/diorama/band instrument as you walk up an exposed set of stairs. Never mind the blood! The parents don't want to walk around the corner, so that's the chance we'll take!

Since when do we make SAFETY DECISIONS regarding our children--or even ourselves--based on a popularity contest?

I am so pissed, I don't even know which angry letter to shoot off first. School superintendent? Local papers? Child advocacy groups?

Urgh.

6 comments:

Green said...

Ugh. Were the majority of parents informed of all the reasons other entrances were being considered? And of course, once Precious DOES in fact fall backwards, cracking her head open THEN will the principal change the entrance when the school district's legal department strongly advises him to do so?

Why am I thinking the stairs were not chosen because that's what the overwhelming majority of parents want, but because the principal doesn't want to have to deal with the phone calls he'll get if he changes the location?

Leila said...

Local MEDIA.

And, maybe, the school district's legal dept? Because that staircase is a lawsuit waiting to happen....

Meg said...

I wonder how many parents even expresesd their opinion. A true majority or a handful that cared that the steps were closed.

The issue is that people fear things very unlikely to happen (child being snatched) and don't fear what is much more likely (kids fall down steps). The answer is to keep both gates open, keep the cones to stop the parents from dropping off in the wrong place and, if necessary, assign a teacher to the ramp.

Those steps look like a potential accident. Agree that the school faces potential liability by requiring kids to walk up the stairs. Also, isn't this a violation of barrier-free access rules?

Ambre said...

Meg is right, people are incredibly bad at judging risk. The people who'd herd little Johnny up those stairs without a second thought are probably also the ones who won't let them play out front alone because someone might come snatch them.

Drives me nuts!

Anonymous said...

Why have to choose at all??? If both were open, then less kids would be pushing and shoving up the stairs, thus less the chance of a fall. But, either way, I totally agree those stars look BAD. Go for it, TC! Get those letters sent -- ALL of them!

LynnPerley said...

I like all of the suggestions. Some groups who advocate for the disabled might be quite interested as well and have some suggestions even if they chose not to help you spread the word. Keep making noise . . .