Parents, not council, responsible for children
Dec 29, 2011 | 1013 views | 1 1 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print

I rarely read the Your Voice section of the Irrigator, but a letter authored by a Tabitha Bartlett caught my eye recently (“Unsafe skate park a sign of misplaced priorities,” Dec. 22). The letter is basically accusing the Patterson City Council of not enforcing rules and regulations for the skate park. She states that she is “shocked and outraged at the fact that not a single teen or child is wearing a helmet. Not one.”

I agree that the rules are set in place for a reason and our children’s safety is of prime importance, but why aren’t these children’s parents making sure that they leave for the skate park with the proper attire? I understand that just because they are equipped with the correct attire doesn’t mean that, once out of their parents’ sight, they are actually using it, but I believe that it is the parents’ responsibility to equip their children with the appropriate gear before allowing them to venture off to the skate park.

It is not the City Council that should come under fire; it is the parents of these children. I think that the skate park is a great addition to Patterson and that most of the community agrees. I would rather have a place for the youth in this community to go than have them roaming the streets looking for things to do. Lastly, if Tabitha Bartlett is so concerned about someone enforcing the rules, then why doesn’t she take it upon herself to volunteer and give back to her community?

Danielle Ashmore, Patterson

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January 16, 2012
I rarely read this either.

Being one of those ‘kids’ myself, I can say that parents, and people who are older than 25, seem to have no idea what us ‘kids’ are really like. Has anyone ever met a high schooler or a middle schooler? I keep seeing the ‘parents take responsibility’ shtick all over the place after the council was blamed for not enforcing the rules at THEIR skate park. The parents probably do enforce those rules, and those children walk out of their house with helmets, elbow and knee pads on, but the moment they get far enough away, they rip them off and shove them in their back-pack. Honestly, what can a parent do if they think their kid is safe, but not within their immediate area, and is supposedly in a place made for kids that should be safe to go to? You want the parents to go and sit at the skate park and WATCH their child to make sure they’re using their safety gear? Yeah right.

The council is just as much at fault as the parents; they built the park, but they don’t enforce the rules that are apparently ‘displayed’ in public for everyone to see. If the rules are there they should be enforced, not just brushed off and forgotten. So it’s as much the council’s fault as the parents; just because someone pointed that out, does NOT mean she doesn't think the parents are to blame as well. Ever heard of presenting one fact in a multi-faceted argument? Someone is going to get hurt, and when they crack open a head, bust an arm, or seriously harm themselves, it’ll be the council and the city of Patterson who takes the blame, and our funds that will go to cover the law suit that will, ultimately, arise. Everyone is at fault here, but only one side of an argument was presented; rudely and subtly insulting someone who presneted one side of an argument in your 'article' seems a bit uncalled for, don't you think? I don’t think anyone wants to volunteer in this community; it’s not a people friendly place to be. The Apricot Fiesta works off volunteer work (And I know; I’ve worked there. It’s mostly high schoolers who volunteer to work and get paid for their unfortunate trouble) and people have been stabbed, beaten and caught in the middle of gang brawls; this I also know because I was one of those caught in the middle.

Our community isn’t something to write home about, and while volunteers might help make it better, ultimately, it’s bad because no one wants to get caught up in all that jazz. And I don’t blame them. Besides, I’m not sure whether you’re native born Patterson or not, and you may or may not know what the town used to be like; back in the day, there would’ve been tons of volunteers, but now? Just try and find someone to help out. Perhaps take some of your own advice, and volunteer yourself.

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