Thursday, February 25, 2010
Methuen, Mass. Condo Association Fines and Bans Kids for Playing Wiffle Ball
Lots of Adult Bitterz out there:
"METHUEN - On several days last June, a photographer snapped shots of children playing Wiffle ball in the grassy common area of their 78-unit condominium complex. The pictures were not intended for a family album, authorities say, but as evidence that five families were violating a rule prohibiting organized sports on the grounds.
"The photos, taken by a condo association board member, led to fees and fines of about $2,500 for the children’s families. But the move also created problems for condo management: US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz is charging Stonecleave Village Association Inc., Property Management of Andover Inc., and its property manager, Elaine Romano, with discriminating against families with children at the complex, while allowing some adult residents to violate association regulations without penalty."
The best comment is by "Ally" who writes:
"Who says anyplace has to accommodate children? if one buys into a condo with specific rules, then the rules must be followed. seems like the parents are too damn lazy or indifferent about going out with their children to the designated play area ... so why should the rest of the residents have to change their lives to allow for poor parenting?"
The other day, the little kid next door, Jonathan, asked if he and his brother David could walk through our yard to walk to the supermarket. Of course I said yes. According to Kids Rulz, walking through someone else's yard is always allowed. Ours is a neighborhood where kids live and they need to know that they are always welcome. Kids have enough problems without being persecuted just for being kids.
I grew up in North Easton, Mass. and we lived in, apparently, a sane neighborhood. We all played street hockey in the street, sledded down the hill across the street, made bike ramps in the street, and played hide and go seek in everybody's yard. In a nearby field we played baseball and football, no adults, just kids. And on the nearby pond we played ice hockey and all tried to be Bobby Orr and Espo and Gerry Cheevers, no adults. We caught lots of frogs and sunfish and we built lots of tree forts and one spring we tapped trees and made our own maple syrup. This was all in a very dense residential neighborhood. This was all done without any supervision or interference from adults. Some parents did try to "manage" their kids and those kids ended up growing up twisted and warped. Kids need to play and do their own thing by themselves and make their own little rules and worlds by themselves. Our tiny little neighborhood in North Easton is proof it works. We even had chickens !!!
When you do that for kids, when they are in their 30s they will thank you for it. You will have given them their childhood, the only one they will ever have.