Many of my facebook friends read my blog post about the incident at the rec center/ sprayground (see previous post). We discovered that 3 kids- all about age 6, had been left alone with no supervision. My friend, Abbey (who works at a different rec center), stated that that is allowed at age 6. Because of that, I did nothing at the time but continued to be bothered by it and wished I had said something. The responses from my friends ranged from "Call childrens services, call the news or my congressmen", and other such responses that made sense to me! Today we went to the sprayground again. Here is an update:
Today while at the sprayground, I noticed a sign with "rules" hanging on the gate that I had not paid much attention to before. It stated that "All kids under the age of 8 must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times." Okay, so 6 shouldn't be allowed right? In fact- seriously- who would actually leave their 8 year old their unattended?!?! I have a 10 year old and wouldn't leave him there alone!
So, I went in the rec center and told them about the incident last week and that they children were 6 but the sign states 8. Here is what the guy said- (I am still not sure I get it- I certainly don't agree anyway- but this is his explanation to the best of my understanding. I kind of hope I misunderstood.)-
He said that the kids may have been enrolled in the rec centers "summer program." He said children 6 and up may register and be left without a parent. He says sometimes during the day, the kids can go out to the play ground/ spray ground if they want but if they do go outside, there is no one specifically watching them to keep them from wandering off. He says parents are told this when they sign up so parents leave their children knowing this.
Seriously?! What kind of parent would willingly sign up for this knowing there may be times when their children are unsupervised?! At least if they are signed up that means the rec center has parent info in case of an emergency...but really?! How can the rec center allow them outside unsupervised (it should NOT be a part of the program if they don't want to supervise them!!) and parents should be smart enough to not leave their kids!! Ugh.... I just can't believe this but I am not entirely sure what to do about it. At least I know to never sign my kids up at a program where I won't be with them (not that I planned on it anyway....) Who is more at fault? The rec center or the parents or both? Who do I call about something like this? Anything specific that any of my readers would do?