In the spring of 2013, a student was riding a skateboard at school, fell, and hurt himself. School administrators responded by banning skateboarding on campus. The school or LAUSD could have been sued. The simplest way for the school to prevent further accidents was probably to ban skateboarding at Venice High.
As a student and skateboarder, the ban is a problem. Even though the ban is constantly ignored, I don’t use my personal skateboard on campus because of it. However, I feel confident that I can ensure my safety as well as the safety of others around me if I were allowed to use my skateboard.
The main problem with skateboarding at school would be injuries and liability issues. There are many possible solutions and I have come up with one.
An option I thought of was liability waivers to keep students from suing the district if someone got hurt. Students would pick up a waiver in an office and have their guardian sign it. They would turn it back in and then it would be put on file. The participant would be issued something that states their parent is liable for any injuries suffered by the student or others; for example, having a special insignia on the individual’s ID such as a dot of some kind that can be easily seen.
Of course this would mean that the school doesn’t get in any trouble in the event of accidents, letting the student assume their own risk. This seems to be the most reasonable solution to the problem. This is comparable to a parent letting their minor drive the family car; the teen assumes their own risk and the parent is liable for any damages.
The idea of a liability waiver is the best way to allow skateboarding at the school. Officials may consider that students wear pads such as helmets, wrist guards, elbow pads and kneepads. But I wouldn’t like the thought of having to wear bulky safety gear. Oftentimes, when going to skate parks I’ve been asked to wear pads; I don’t like that because pads feel funny after a while. Plus, this would be hard to enforce.
The problem: we students want to skate and cannot, but we feel confident in ourselves that we can stay safe while using skateboards. I don’t expect a lot to happen, but I hope administration will consider my opinion at least. I will leave you to your own decision, but I believe that, as skateboarders, we can be safe. We know that what we are doing is dangerous, but we know how to not injure ourselves, or others.