August 19, 2011
So who’s to blame for the recent arsons at Centennial Park? I have it on good authority that police expect park vandalism to take a sharp drop once school is back in. That points to the obvious culprits: drunken teenagers.
I wonder how a small community such as Westsyde can have this kind of problem. Surely, people know each other well enough that there would be social pressure on parents, and even the teens themselves, to take good care of their park.
The Westsyde Community Development Society is a stellar of example of neighbours fundraising and working together. It must be exasperating for them to know that some of their neighbours are deliberately destroying their efforts.
In the case of Centennial Park, someone set a fire at the fieldhouse near the rink. It was a community fundraising that helped build the structure, and it is volunteers who use the equipment there to maintain the rink. They had hoped to expand the building for washrooms to be used with a water park nearby.
With repairs alone estimated in the thousands of dollars, that effort has suffered a serious setback.
So if, as I suspect, drunk teenagers did start the fire, then why haven’t their parents turned them in? From what I hear, the culture among many parents these days is one of accommodation. They have no control over their children so they give in to their wishes to party in the parks. Some actually drive them there, give them a six-pack and pick them up later.
The apparent logic is that at least they know where their kids are.
I hate reading advice to parents from columnists or bloggers. It seems that if we just did this or that simple thing, all would be well. Believe me, if there were some simple magic answer, every parent would be doing it.
In this case, though, where parents may actually be complicit in a crime, I really have to wonder if there is any hope at all.