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May 02, 2007

Playground Politics

StoponpavementPeterborough This Week has two "Letters to the Editor" reacting to its recent story about the playground fundraising pressures being faced by parents in certain school communities in its current issue -- the letter I wrote expressing my concerns about the fact that some students won't have access to playground equipment while others will (a "have" and "have not" situation within the same board) and a letter from a reader who sees the situation quite differently than I did:

"I find it hard to believe that we are born with the right to playground equipment, but I also do not know of any existing legal document in which the right to playground equipment has been afforded to every individual. In my opinion, it cheapens the word 'right' when parties co-opt it for their own particular issues. The existence of universal rights in general can still be debated. When every party with a grievance claims their 'rights' are being violated, it does not serve proponents of universal human rights well. I urge the Prince of Wales Parent Council and all other similar organizations to consider their terms when engaging in politics."


I've been thinking this over some more, and I'm wondering if, in fact, a case could be made that knowingly providing unequal playground facilities could be viewed as discrimination as defined by The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.


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I'm not sure about rights (although I think a good case can be made for this), but I do think that in this wealthy country it is shameful not to be able to provide such a simple thing as playgrounds for all children to use.

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