Dilapidated Equipment Putting Children in Danger in Great Falls

One of the greatest things for me attending school wasn't necessarily the academics side of being a pupil but being able to enjoy time with students from other grades during recess time.

Heading out to the football field for a rousing game of soccer or climbing the snowbank in the parking lot to see who would remain king of the hill.

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Those memories aren't able to happen at this time for today's students at a local school park in Great Falls.

Great Falls Schoolyard in Shambles from Old, Unusable Playground Equipment

In a recent post to social media, PTA member Brittany Keeler shared photos of the horrible conditions that children are experiencing with playground equipment at Chief Joseph Elementary.

Photo Credit: Brittany Keeler
Photo Credit: Brittany Keeler
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Photos show equipment that is in disrepair, even boarded up so that there isn't the temptation to use it.

Photo Credit: Brittany Keeler
Photo Credit: Brittany Keeler
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Slides with boards attached are showing signs of cracking, or even separating in places that might be detrimental to little fingers trying to make their way down.

Photo Credit: Brittany Keeler
Photo Credit: Brittany Keeler
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Ms. Keeler even stated that several of the pieces of equipment have been around for a number of years, even when she attended the school for elementary.

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PTA Members Take Action to Help Students in Great Falls

With costs for just a slide rising to nearly $4,000 for a new one, this isn't a cheap endeavor.  But Keeler, along with other PTA members have started a campaign to raise funds to help replace some of the equipment.  Complete systems for schoolyards can eclipse $20,000 not including shipping, assembly, or site prep.

My opinion?  Unacceptable for our students.  I get that equipment gets used, perhaps even abused at times.  I mean, they are kids after all.  But how does it get this bad before something is done?

Photo Credit: Brittany Keeler
Photo Credit: Brittany Keeler
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Equipment that looks like the above photo shouldn't be in our schoolyard playgrounds.  I can't imagine my son or daughter coming home after an accident on this.

How does it get fixed?  You can donate to the cause at the Chief Joseph School through the PTA.

Another option?  With GFPS system interviewing new superintendents for the next school year, perhaps now is a time to bring this to the attention of those candidates and ask serious questions about how this should be handled.

What are your thoughts?  Let us know via our social media comments section, use our app chat feature in the downloadable app, or you can email me here.

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