Opinion: Don’t just skate over bad behaviour

Dear parents of children who attend Carine Skate Park,

Recently I attended the Carine Skate Park with my two children and one of their friends.

We had just purchased a scooter and my kids were very keen to try it out.

When we arrived, we saw and heard a young man carrying on, swearing, slamming other’s skateboards on to the ground and even attempting to push one young boy down from the highest point to the lowest section.

I approached the young man, and suggested that he should quit the foul language and poor behaviour.

I also reminded him that there were young children around and that this behaviour and language was not suitable for such a place and in the presence of the young people.

The young man started yelling at me, shouting that he is permitted to be drunk, and that I can’t do anything about it.

I suspect he was more than drunk, but I cant say for sure.

What I am sure of is that he was acting very poorly and he also had a large following of boys.

He was swearing at me and threatening me. One of the other boys began filming all of this on a video camera, and they all seemed to think this was hilarious. I informed the young man and boys that I would be calling the police.

They initially seemed concerned but did not leave.

Some of the younger boys began yelling and swearing at me, my daughter and her friend.

My eight-year-old son was quietly skating up and down the ramps and later he told me that he didn’t want to acknowledge me because he thought he might get beaten up by someone.

I called the police and we waited nearby. Unfortunately they did not come.

There were at least two parents – one father and one mother – sitting in cars, who appeared to be very engrossed on the content of their mobile phones.

As such they were not paying attention to what was happening.

Obviously there were many children who were unsupervised, which is fine, as I believe that this is the intended purpose of such skate parks.

My son was desperate to keep trying his scooter so I took him back early the next morning. The space was a mess.

There were alcohol cans, food wrappers and even a bong – marijuana smoking implement – on the grass nearby.

A council waste management guy came along and had to clean up this filth. I felt for him.

Parents, I urge you to attend the skate park regularly to see if your child is involved in this nonsense.

For those of you who attend with your children, get out of the car and actually enjoy the outdoor time with them.

Leave your phones in the car and actually take notice of the environment in which your children play.

There are negative connotations associated with skate parks.

The individuals mentioned in this letter contribute to this stigma.