Stirling Times - - Opinion -

DEAR par­ents of chil­dren who at­tend Carine Skate Park,

Re­cently I at­tended the Carine Skate Park with my two chil­dren and one of their friends.

We had just pur­chased a scooter and my kids were very keen to try it out.

When we ar­rived, we saw and heard a young man car­ry­ing on, swear­ing, slam­ming other's skate­boards on to the ground and even at­tempt­ing to push one young boy down from the high­est point to the low­est sec­tion.

I ap­proached the young man, and sug­gested that he should quit the foul lan­guage and poor be­hav­iour.

I also re­minded him that there were young chil­dren around and that this be­hav­iour and lan­guage was not suit­able for such a place and in the pres­ence of the young peo­ple.

The young man started yelling at me, shout­ing that he is per­mit­ted to be drunk, and that I can't do any­thing about it.

I sus­pect he was more than drunk, but I cant say for sure.

What I am sure of is that he was act­ing very poorly and he also had a large fol­low­ing of boys.

He was swear­ing at me and threat­en­ing me. One of the other boys be­gan film­ing all of this on a video cam­era, and they all seemed to think this was hi­lar­i­ous. I in­formed the young man and boys that I would be call­ing the po­lice.

They ini­tially seemed con­cerned but did not leave.

Some of the younger boys be­gan yelling and swear­ing at me, my daugh­ter and her friend.

My eight-year-old son was qui­etly skating up and down the ramps and later he told me that he didn't want to ac­knowl­edge me be­cause he thought he might get beaten up by some­one.

I called the po­lice and we waited nearby. Un­for­tu­nately they did not come.

There were at least two par­ents – one fa­ther and one mother – sit­ting in cars, who ap­peared to be very en­grossed on the con­tent of their mo­bile phones.

As such they were not pay­ing at­ten­tion to what was hap­pen­ing.

Ob­vi­ously there were many chil­dren who were un­su­per­vised, which is fine, as I be­lieve that this is the in­tended pur­pose of such skate parks.

My son was des­per­ate to keep try­ing his scooter so I took him back early the next morn­ing. The space was a mess.

There were al­co­hol cans, food wrap­pers and even a bong – mar­i­juana smok­ing im­ple­ment – on the grass nearby.

A coun­cil waste man­age­ment guy came along and had to clean up this filth. I felt for him.

Par­ents, I urge you to at­tend the skate park reg­u­larly to see if your child is in­volved in this non­sense.

For those of you who at­tend with your chil­dren, get out of the car and ac­tu­ally en­joy the out­door time with them.

Leave your phones in the car and ac­tu­ally take no­tice of the en­vi­ron­ment in which your chil­dren play.

There are neg­a­tive con­no­ta­tions as­so­ci­ated with skate parks.

The in­di­vid­u­als men­tioned in this let­ter con­trib­ute to this stigma. ROYD AISBETT Carine

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