Any suggestions on how to challenge this?

Discussion in 'Barefootedness' started by Darkand, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. Darkand

    Darkand
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    Ok, last week I took my kids to the playground at Pickie Fun Park in Bangor. My 4yr old asked me could he take his shoes off amd I said yes.
    He had a great time climbing and playing on all the frames, ropes and slides. Loads of different textures to experience and ways to user his feet. You want to have seen him on the rope bridge, feet folding round the ropes and toes gripping etc. It was brilliant! He loved it!
    Anyway, yesterday my wife was out for run and ran past the park. She noticed a new sign saying "Footwear must be worn at all times".
    uploadfromtaptalk1397224094435.jpg
    Not impressed! Spent half of last night thinking about it.
    I was going to find out who was in charge there and bail in, headlong, asking why they're discriminating against barefooters, and just have an argument with whoever it is. Then decided that's not gonna get me anywhere. Then I thought education my be the way forward, a little diplomacy in letter format. But they'll probably just scrunch it up and bin it.
    I know the mayor here so might go down that route. He knows a little of barefoot running and he might be easier to convince.
    Anyone challenged this sort of thing before and have any tips?
     
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  2. Sid

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    Perhaps, petition for a name change to Pickie NO-Funpark?

    What are the consequences if you ignore the sign? Has it been codified into the town's bylaws?
     
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  3. Darkand

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    I presume you're just asked to leave or put shoes on. I don't think it's part of the towms town's bylaws or anything. I think it's more of a case of someone trying to cover all the bases so they don't get sued if some kid stands on a phantom piece of glass. There's a water play area ffs. Trying to work out if the kids are meant to wear their shoes in there. Also they just posted a pic on facebook of kids playing in water walkers (large inflatable balls that go across the surface of the pool). The kids in the pic are barefoot....
    I already added a comment on the pic asking how that fits in with their "shoes must be worn" policy. No reply from them...
     
  4. Barefoot TJ

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    Why not carry a pair of flip-flops in your back pocket. That way, it looks like you have footwear that you can put on if you were asked, then take it off when they turn around.

    The rule is BS, as we all know.

    I know someone who has a child with autism. When he was about 7, she learned that when she finally took his shoes off at a park they had frequented, that he came to life. With his shoes on, he just hung his head and barely moved around the park. With his shoes off, he began climbing and swinging from bar to bar, smiling and laughing. What a difference taking our shoes off makes!
     
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  5. PatrickGSR94

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    What is this park under constant supervision or something, like lifeguards at a pool?? Just take the shoes off and don't worry about it. Seriously, who would even ask you to leave? Is this a public park owned/maintained by the city?
     
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  6. Mike R

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    Someone who was also at the park at the time could have seen you and called and complained. I work for a town and am surprised at what gets done sometimes when one person complains.
     
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  7. Sid

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    Hooray for compassion and humanity!
    (tongue firmly planted in cheek)
     
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  8. Hobbit

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    Who runs the park: the town or some private organism, like a club or something like that?
    If it's public, it's also your taxes that pay for it (and for the sign, by the way).
    Talking to the mayor won't be enough I'm afraid - even if he himself is open to your point of view, he is not the only one to decide: Usually there is also a whole bunch of counsellors to convince (this is the most difficult bit).
    You could try an indirect approach: Invite a famous speaker (some kind of barefoot doctor) and organize an event where the benefits of barefoot are explained to a large audience, perhaps coupled with an exihibition with lot's of barefoot memorabilia. Ask the mayor to provide a place where this could happen. Invite the mayor and the whole council to the event. And most important: finish the event with free beer and snacks.
    Afterwards, everybody will have a positive opinion on barefoot (because of the beer :D). Even though the counsellors probably won't try it out themselves, they will be much easier to convince for the park sign!
    (Yes, I suppose this could be seen as some form of corruption!)
    If they still fear lawsuits, a sign "barefoot at own risk, parents are responsible for their children" would be a solution.
     
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  9. Darkand

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    Not under constant supervision just the odd person appears every once in a while. I don't know if anyone would say anything but I willing to push it and find out! :)
     
  10. Darkand

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    Hobbit, I was thinking about that approach. If I can convince the mayor, then he can push for some barefoot friendly areas. The National Trust here have already started doing this so I can use them as an example and for a little peer pressure. :)
    Sid, great link mate. Love the article. I going to post it to our Facebook page and share with our followers. I might be one I can use for a presentation to the council, if I get that far!
    TJ, the autism thing is a great point. It's important for all special needs kids to get adequate simulation and sensory feedback. I'm gonna add that to my council presentation pack!
     
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  11. Darkand

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    I thought that too Mike. I hope that's not the case though. Hopefully changing some minds in the council will swing some opinions and encourage them to deal with complaints like that worth some positive educational responses.
     
  12. Larry

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    I'm not really an activist type, so I would just ignore the sign. Maybe pose with your barefoot kid next to it for facebook as a laugh - that would be good fun.

    The trouble with pushing the issue is that the bureaucrats might feel compelled to act. In the absence that, sanity tends to prevail.
     

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  13. Barefoot TJ

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