Renegade Bands of Toddlers Make Public Park Unsafe, Say Cranky Old People
There are a lot of places in the world where kids and grown-ups are expected to be quiet and still and on their best behavior. Public parks are not generally one of those places, but some toddlers in Canada just got their ball-playing privileges revoked because some crabby old people said the sound of three-year-olds playing constituted an “unsafe” environment for the cranky olds of the world.
According to The Toronto Star, a local children’s sports program was meeting three days a week, for a total of six hours a week, to play at a public park which had granted them a permit to hold the “games” there. Now, while the program was called “soccer,” it was for kids between the ages of 16 months and five years, and they weren’t really playing soccer. They were just running around with some balls and “playing soccer,” the way toddlers do. For really advanced stuff, counselors put up six plastic cones for the kids to run around.Â Kids that age are not exactly known for being coordinated.
The earliest “game” started at 9 a.m., and the latest one on the schedule ended at 7 p.m., so it’s not even like they were being noisy at unreasonable hours. But now the kids have been forced to move, because the park rescinded the kids’ permit after being “inundated” with complaints about how two hours of toddlers playing, three days a week, constituted an “unsafe and noisy environment.”
It sounds pretty ridiculous. A public park is not an art gallery. It should be OK for toddlers to play with a ball there. It doesn’t even sound like the kids were particularly noisy, because several people who live next to the park reportedly told the Toronto Star that they had never heard the kids at all.
â€œI didnâ€™t hear or see them,” said park neighbor Paul Stoner.
â€œIt really doesnâ€™t make sense,â€ said Brian Hill, whose house is adjacent to the park and says he heard nothing. â€œThatâ€™s what a park is for.â€
But someone certainly cared enough to become a nuisance to the parks department about it, and now the kids’ permit has been revoked. The toddler sports program has been shipped off to another local park, where it doesn’t sound like anybody is afraid of or bothered by toddlers with soccer balls.