As suspected for several years now, the bubble of elementary school-aged children is continuing to grow in the Stapleton community. We don’t mean growing in number of kids, but AGE of kids. What was once a simple concern over the number of seats in existing elementary school classrooms, is now becoming an alarming new reality: Our little ones are growing into teenagers. At the same time. “There’s no doubt about it.” said resident and parent of twin tweens, Mike Herold. “Our boys are indeed getting older. I just knew this was going to happen.” An informal survey* has shown what many Stapleton parents have failed to put on their worry list: The fact that hormone-driven actions will soon be seen all over the community. A few residents do share the growing concern. “Personally, I am scared to death. All these teens concentrated within just what – two square miles? Sounds like an accident waiting to happen to me,” said resident Jennifer Weber. “Before we know it, there may even be twerking going on. We need to get on this now!” she added. An emergency task group is forming and an initial meeting was held last Friday. First order of business is to gather data on the number of teens aged 13-18 in the area and to determine when that number will peak. “Our next priority is to analyze ways to mitigate potential damage,” said “Teen Watch” task force president Neil Logan. According to Logan, several ideas were brainstormed during that meeting. Possible tactics include:
- Nightly patrols along Westerly Creek, a potential teen ‘hot spot’ and growing concern: Logan suggests creating a Facebook group – for parents only – where folks could sign up for watches after school and after dark. Lookout chairs similar to those used by lifeguards at our local pools could be installed discreetly along the paths. “Parents would have to coordinate their work schedules and vacations, but I think it would totally be worth it,” Logan explained.
- Install an enormous spotlight in the old Stapleton air traffic control tower: Since no one can agree on what to do with the tower, it was suggested that this would be an excellent use for it. The spotlight could zero in on any offending parties, thus putting an end to any potential wrong doing.
- Institute a 9:30 p.m. curfew: According to Weber, “It’s dark by then, and where I come from, no good ever happens after dark.”
- Northfield Theater parking lot: Close enough to get to, but far away from parents that may know them.
- Central Park: Yes, lots of kids will get caught by the po-po and late night runners and walkers, but it is just so convenient. Bridge to nowhere will be a big spot.
- Anywhere along Westerly Creek Trail: This is obvious with the poor lighting, and the bridge on MLK that goes over the creek will be overrun with wine cooler bottles and beer cans. Let’s just put a recycling can there now.
- On the Green: The movies on the green will be a LOT different here soon, and after the movies, it just gets worse.
- Bluff Lake & Trails: Not super convenient, but definitely a little off the beaten path. Plus the parents who own the houseboats will definitely be the parents that don’t mind if kids are out drinking.