Is This Where We Want Our Toddlers Playing?
What are we teaching our young people about respect for public (and private) property?
For the third time in less than a year the Parks Department has had to clean a considerable amount of graffiti off the gazebo in the Childrens’ Park in Sound Beach. I went up yesterday afternoon to check it out. We went up again this morning and what we found is shown in the pictures.
We didn’t take pictures of all the other garbage, but there were many empty bottles and food garbage covered by ants. Names had been scratched into the table. This is primarily being done by teenagers, so I’d like to ask again: Is this where we want our toddlers playing and what are we teaching our young people about respect for property?
Some people will lay this on the Town--that the Town is responsible for keeping our parks clean and safe? To this I say, you’re right―up to a point! Yes, the gates should be closed at night. Since this is a “childrens’” park, there’s no reason to allow access to it after dark. But, let’s face it, it wouldn’t be hard for teenagers to climb the fence and get in. Others may say that the police should be more on top of it. Again, I say, yes, we definitely need a greater police presence in our area!
But much of what is seen in these pictures was done over a period of 18 hours. Can we really expect Town employees to be there on a daily basis? Do we want police to sit there to prevent this from happening? It’s not realistic to expect these things. I say, it’s up to us to be their eyes and ears. We need to be more proactive, we need to be more involved in keeping our community safe and clean. So, if you see anything I urge you to report it: call the Town of Brookhaven (451-CALL) or the police (852-COPS).
And, finally and more importantly, it’s up to us to teach our young people greater respect! Summer is upon us and the kids will be out more― and we want them to have fun ― but let’s teach them they can fun without destroying property and making it unsafe for younger children!