Another basketball season is upon us. One way to tell is that there are hordes of jr. high and elementary students reeking havoc through the halls of the Spartan Center with no clue that there is a basketball game even going on. Shame on you parents!
Let me share with you a few of the things I observed at the opening tournament on Dec. 9.
1. There are some wrought iron railings between the main hall and the stairs leading to the lower level of the Spartan Center. You actually have to climb a wall to get to this railing. Should someone fall over the rail to the stairs below it is about a 20 foot drop. There were numerous times young children were told to get down from the railing. Someone is going to get hurt.
2. For some reason on game nights the halls of the Spartan Center become not only a race track but also a second basketball court. There are short dashes run hundreds of times and there are marathons continually in progress. The benches in the halls become competitive objects as well as kids see who can jump the farthest off from them. Someone could very easily get hurt. You can always hear a basketball or two or three being bounced in the halls. They are bounced off the walls, they are bounced off the windows, they are bounced off the floors. The paint and the windows and the finish on the floors aren't cheap folks. Why in the world would you let your child bring a basketball to the game? What if one of them got away and ended up on the "real" basketball court and one of the players got hurt?
3. At certain locations in the Spartan Center there are rope barriers put up. Yes, people they are there for a reason. These barriers mean you shouldn't go past that point. I guess parents haven't taught their children this yet. Most parents don't know either I guess because they just move the barriers aside and go wherever they please. Good example parents. What these barriers actually end being used for are jump ropes, high jump bars and limbo sticks. Someone is going to get hurt.
4. Maybe I'm the only one that notices but doesn't your heart just miss a couple of beats when you see a 3 or 4 year old twirling around the railings high above the basketball court. Do you know how far of a fall that would be? Shame on you parents!
5. The Spartan Center is not a skateboard park. Yes, I encountered skateboards on the track around the gym and in the halls. It's your tax dollars but it would be very expensive to replace that track and there are some expensive finishes on the halls. If you kick them outside they just ride the skateboard on the handrails and ramps out there. Once again, someone is going to get hurt. Why in the world would you let your child bring a skateboard to a game? Shame on you parents?
6. There is absolutely no reason for kids to be on the lower level of the Spartan Center. (After all, there are barriers up that should tell them not to go there.) There is nothing down there for them but some insist that they must run underneath the bleachers and around the halls. Shame on you parents!
7. There are college classes that are held each evening on the South end of the Spartan Center. Noisy children running though the halls often interrupt these classes. Why do you think there are barriers up? Shame on you parents.
Parents, we do not operate an amusement park at Emery High. If you can't or won't control your children or if you drop them off at the game for us to baby sit then I would propose the following.
Please, to the powers that be, would you consider raising ticket prices for anyone 14 years old or younger to $20? That is really a pretty cheap ticket for an amusement park.