Teens Fighting To Save Florissant Skate Park

Full story: Fox2Now 43
Hundreds of kids are fighting to keep a Florissant skate park open. Five years ago it was built to keep kids out of trouble. Full Story
sk8ter mom

Florissant, MO

#21 Sep 22, 2009
Mom of a skater wrote:
I think the skate park was a great idea when it was built. It kept a lot of skaters off the streets and sidewalks. I agree that a sign should be posted telling skaters to skate at their own risk. This will keep the liability from the city if someone gets hurt. My son and his friends skate their all the time and i have never heard of any problems. As far as the graffiti, who said a skater did it. Many people roam the park. I have never cared for Mayor Lowery. Many people say he has done great for Florissant and maybe he has in many ways but this is a perfect example of something he is doing wrong. Save the Park!!!
I have been from the east coast to the west coast and have noticed that many city leaders want to place the blame for all the wrong doings in their cities on the skaters. They have resorted into tearing down the one place that the skaters have, only to rebuild them in a matter of a couple of years to get them back off the streets. The skate park in Florissant is a perfect place for them to skate. It is fenced in, far enough away from the traffic and the equipment costs the city money (our tax dollars). I am not too happy to hear of this becoming wasteful spending by tearing it down.
As far as Mayor Lowery, he needs to remember to tip his waitresses that work hard for their money to help pay his salary.
Mom of a skater - Flor MO

Saint Louis, MO

#22 Sep 22, 2009
Florissant has changed so much in the 23 years I have lived here. It is going down. Taking away a place for kids to do their thing is going to promote more crime. This park is keeping them out of trouble and the way North County has become, we need the kids to be occupied and stay out of trouble. I love Florissant, but look around, where are the priorities. Taking care of our kids is obviously not one of them. Let them skate at their own risk. Save the park!!! Let the kids have fun!!
Back In the Day

Saint Louis, MO

#23 Sep 22, 2009
I know all sorts of people that skate.. When i was younger we would skate all over Ferguson, I saw so many of my friend get nearly killed because we didn't have a skate park to go skate in. We used to go to all the churches in old town ferg to skate in there parking lots on the stairs all sorts of stuff. But i think that if we had a place like this to skate in when we were younger we would have stayed out of trouble a lot more. I think that they should not close the skate park, because what happens next im driving down the street and because they aren't skating at Dunagant any more they are in the streets and one of those kids gets hit by a car and dies. What happens then... What are the parents of that kid going to do.. Well the city closes the park i will tell you now we are going to see alot more deaths with our younger population due to kids skating in the streets..... Its not right... I understand the kids need to wear helmets, but what some one else said is if you guys fine the kids for not wearing them... Trust me when those kids get a ticket for not wearing a helmet they are definitely going to wear the next time. Seriously SAVE THE PARK!!!
Friend in Florissant

Florissant, MO

#24 Sep 22, 2009
Time to act like adults wrote:
This is the problem. No one can come off of their own side long enough to be reasonable. The reason ADULTS will possibly have the right to not wear a helmet on the street while riding their motorcycle, is because they are ADULTS!!!! If they want to die while trying to look cool, thats their adult decision to make. These kids who think its cool to skate without a helmet because it looks better, or its easier to skate without one. That is a silly and irresponsible reason. Parents are supposed to be teaching their children to make wise decisions, not support their poor ones. If your kids would follow rules and if you would support them following rules there wouldn't be so many kids who are catching a bad rap. All they are asking of your children is to follow some rules and the park will remain open. These aren't even difficult rules 1. Wear a helmet 2. Don't spray paint on the facility that isn't yours!!!! And parents are arguing with that. Its a shame, and a true window into what is happening with youth and our world today. People are more apt to argue their point, just to choose a side. Not even looking at it all logically.
So here's the answer, stop spraypainting on property that you don't own, and wear a helmet. Then you don't have to climb over locked gates, and trespass illegally to do what you love to do.
Thank you! Finally someone who makes sense from both sides! Just follow the rules and do what is right and nothing has to change!
Dad in Florissant

AOL

#25 Sep 22, 2009
Kudo's to fox2 for doing this story, when no one else would.
Kudo's to all those kids who are doing something that all parents should teach their kids;
You CAN change decisions our elected officals make, if you do it peacefully!
Keep up the fight kids, SAVE THE PARK!!
Bob Lowerys daughter

Saint Louis, MO

#26 Sep 22, 2009
shut up dad, if they close the park where will i give bj's?
Mom of Skater

Saint Louis, MO

#27 Sep 22, 2009
SHAME ON SEAN CONROY for his PRO-Lowery portrayal of this issue! The mayor's office decided to close the park on Thursday, Sept 17 and did so by removing a piece of equipment and passing out flyers at the park. The following day the Andy Q. at the mayor's office stated the reason for the decision was the increase of criminal activity in the park, causing police and park ranger involvement. At NO TIME was the reason given that the kids were failing to follow the rules of the park or worry about injury. Further it was stated the decision was initiated by resident complaints around the park - though that claim has not be substantiated.
The park rangers have little to no presence at the skatepark. Often parents in the neighbor have come up to make repairs. My son spends an average of 2 hours there, 3 or 4 times a week, and only once in about 5 months before 9/18 have a seen a police patroler hanging out in the lot. Further, in that time frame, I have only once been approached by a ranger to check my son's ID card.
The claims of violence and crime are not specific to the skatepark itself. Ron Veach sited last night a fire set in a park trash can. That has happened in parks all over for ever and will continue and has nothing to do with a skatepark being there. The skatepark is really the most used part of Dunegant Park - would Ron Veach prefer it sat empty to prevent the bad decisions of a few teens?
This kids may have broken the rules by climbing the fence, but their protest is a lesson to them. Just because they can't yet vote and therefore are discounted in their community doesn't mean it should be that way! Give these kids a chance! If you take away all the positive options they have, what do you leave them with???
Sean Conroy should be ashamed of himself for this terrible portrayal of a real community issue. This feature should have included some of the REAL issues involved - Mayor Lowery's misuse of the park improvement tax fund and the lack of 'park surveillance' and parks dept oversight that lead to the closure.
non resident

Columbia, MO

#28 Sep 22, 2009
Robert Roode wrote:
Perhaps if our mayor would have his pay rate similar to cities the size of Florissant , they would have the money to monitor the park!
Alot of what the Mayor does and accomplishes is by intimidation...Florissant is a booming city too bad they have an underhanded Mayor behind it all
florissant resident

Florissant, MO

#29 Sep 22, 2009
Lets start making our children accountable for their actions. If you dont follow the rules you lose your PRIVLIDGES, WHICH IN THIS CASE WOULD BE THE SKATE PARK. Lets raise more responsible children. And to parents I would say YOU are responsible for YOUR children, make sure they follow the rules so that the police can focus on other things that need their attention other than children that think that rules apply to anyone but them.
Uphold The Law

Saint Peters, MO

#30 Sep 22, 2009
This skate park is a place to keep kids out of trouble? Quite the contrary; it's been a breeding ground for lawlessness and social disorder.

TEAR IT DOWN NOW!

This group is a subculture engaged in a total lack of civility and flagrant disregard for the very rules and laws that were designed to protect their little behinds in the first place!
An Anarchist is defined as: a person who promotes disorder or excites revolt against any established rule, law, or custom.

TEAR IT DOWN NOW!

This is a sad statement of where the youth of today are headed. Parents of these troubled teens---you should be ashamed of yourselves for knowingly allowing them to run roughshod over the law. The kids who openly and publicly broke the law should go to jail and the parents should be held to account for encouraging their behavior. Itís sickening how many parents stood there and supported this behavior and yelled at city leaders!

TEAR IT DOWN NOW!

Their message was clearly conveyed to anyone who watched Channel 2 last night. It's somehow cool and okay to break the law and ignore the rules to send a message in an attempt to get what you want. Peaceful protest wasnít what the viewers saw. They saw protest by breaking the law! They saw civil disobedience and unrest...condoned not condemned.

TEAR IT DOWN NOW!

To them, who cares about law and order? They are convinced that they can do whatever they want, wherever they want, and whenever they want because they're skate boarders out to prove something. They are out to prove that the law does NOT apply to them.

TEAR IT DOWN NOW!

If the city gives in to these lawbreakers, then it will have committed a serious injustice to those citizens who have made a conscientious and sensible choice to live within and abide by the law. These young people weren't the least bit bashful about breaking the law. The city shouldn't be the least bit bashful about upholding it either.

ARREST THE LAW BREAKERS!

MAKE THEM EXPLAIN TO A JUDGE IN A COURT ROOM WHY THEY CHOSE TO IGNORE THE LAW!

THERE SHOULD BE CONSEQUENCES FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE!

TEAR IT DOWN NOW!
motheroftwo

United States

#31 Sep 22, 2009
I think there needs to be changes on both parties for the park. Florissant needs to monitor the park better and have park rangers go by some - maybe have set open hours. 3 years ago my son and a friend went there(13 at the time) - with all their safety equipment and their resident cards - I thought they would be safe he also had his cell phone - but that wasn't the case. After he was there for a bit 3 slugs (13, 15, 19 Around those ages) came to the park and after a while they assualted my son and his friend. Luckily my husband got there at the end of the beating and was able to get the license plate # and we where able to report to the police. We had to take my son to the hospital to get checked out, the one kid had turned him onto his head onto the conrete. Of course this was Florissant and the kids basically got a slap on the wrist from the police. The point is the park should be patroled more - it should be a safe place for the kids to skate. The city isn't doing their part either. I also agree about Lowry, hopefully some day the voters will get wise and vote him out of office. I know he does buy the seniors meals, as it did it not too long ago for my mother and friend who ran into him at a resturant spending the Florissant money to help build his ego.
motheroftwo

United States

#32 Sep 22, 2009
The kids that came to the park to assult my son weren't there to skate they where there looking for trouble. The kids that skate there are just trying to have fun. They need a safe place to go to be a kid.
Peggy K

Saint Louis, MO

#33 Sep 22, 2009
It is a shame that North County teenagers have no place to call their own. The skate park is a good place for them to gather and the majority of users are in compliance with park rules. If the cost of monitoring the park is a budget issue, perhaps the City of Florissant could use some of the tax revenue it earns from the excessive number of pawn shops, liquor stores and quick loan businesses that thrive in the city to pay a park monitor or install cameras. N. County teens have few choices for recreation that are not structued team sports.
Dad in Florissant

AOL

#34 Sep 22, 2009
Uphold The Law wrote:
This skate park is a place to keep kids out of trouble? Quite the contrary; it's been a breeding ground for lawlessness and social disorder.
TEAR IT DOWN NOW!
This group is a subculture engaged in a total lack of civility and flagrant disregard for the very rules and laws that were designed to protect their little behinds in the first place!
An Anarchist is defined as: a person who promotes disorder or excites revolt against any established rule, law, or custom.
TEAR IT DOWN NOW!
This is a sad statement of where the youth of today are headed. Parents of these troubled teens---you should be ashamed of yourselves for knowingly allowing them to run roughshod over the law. The kids who openly and publicly broke the law should go to jail and the parents should be held to account for encouraging their behavior. Itís sickening how many parents stood there and supported this behavior and yelled at city leaders!
TEAR IT DOWN NOW!
Their message was clearly conveyed to anyone who watched Channel 2 last night. It's somehow cool and okay to break the law and ignore the rules to send a message in an attempt to get what you want. Peaceful protest wasnít what the viewers saw. They saw protest by breaking the law! They saw civil disobedience and unrest...condoned not condemned.
TEAR IT DOWN NOW!
To them, who cares about law and order? They are convinced that they can do whatever they want, wherever they want, and whenever they want because they're skate boarders out to prove something. They are out to prove that the law does NOT apply to them.
TEAR IT DOWN NOW!
If the city gives in to these lawbreakers, then it will have committed a serious injustice to those citizens who have made a conscientious and sensible choice to live within and abide by the law. These young people weren't the least bit bashful about breaking the law. The city shouldn't be the least bit bashful about upholding it either.
ARREST THE LAW BREAKERS!
MAKE THEM EXPLAIN TO A JUDGE IN A COURT ROOM WHY THEY CHOSE TO IGNORE THE LAW!
THERE SHOULD BE CONSEQUENCES FOR CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE!
TEAR IT DOWN NOW!
Yea, I'm sure you were a saint when you were 17!!
RadRainbows

Saint Louis, MO

#35 Sep 22, 2009
Dear sir Uphold The Law, you really have no idea whats going on seeing how you live in hmmmmm, Wentzville? This is the one places where everyone can hang out and express themselves. I have been going there for years and I love it. It isn't close to any houses and it keeps kids off of the streets. I honestly would rather be in the skatepark than on the streets of Florissant getting jumped like I have in the past. Instead of just moaning and complaining, we actually got together and made a change, and I respect every single person who went up there and helped us. Teens deserve this park, and we honestly need it. There really is nothing else to do in Florissant. This is our passion. And we agreed that we would compromise with city officials if they would just let us have the park back. The problem is that nobody is ever up there to enforce the rules! So who's fault is that? I love my friends and family who have supported the "save the park" effort and it will totally be worth it.
who you kiddin

Florissant, MO

#36 Sep 22, 2009
RadRainbows wrote:
Dear sir Uphold The Law, you really have no idea whats going on seeing how you live in hmmmmm, Wentzville? This is the one places where everyone can hang out and express themselves. I have been going there for years and I love it. It isn't close to any houses and it keeps kids off of the streets. I honestly would rather be in the skatepark than on the streets of Florissant getting jumped like I have in the past. Instead of just moaning and complaining, we actually got together and made a change, and I respect every single person who went up there and helped us. Teens deserve this park, and we honestly need it. There really is nothing else to do in Florissant. This is our passion. And we agreed that we would compromise with city officials if they would just let us have the park back. The problem is that nobody is ever up there to enforce the rules! So who's fault is that? I love my friends and family who have supported the "save the park" effort and it will totally be worth it.
sound to me like the person from wentzville has figured you misfits out. your rebuttal that someone needs to be there to hold your hands and make sure you nice law abiding citizens play by the rules is a joke. you dont deserve to have this or any park where you can do as you damn well please. you got together and made a change? really? by jumping over a locked and closed fence and trespassing, you made a change? that's sick! your butts should be in the can right now instead of plotting your next attempt to discredit the laws of the city! with any luck, the city leaders will grow a pair and do away with an abused and useless piece of wasteland for degenerates like yourself to "hang out and express yourselves"!
Dad in Florissant

AOL

#37 Sep 23, 2009
who you kiddin wrote:
<quoted text>sound to me like the person from wentzville has figured you misfits out. your rebuttal that someone needs to be there to hold your hands and make sure you nice law abiding citizens play by the rules is a joke. you dont deserve to have this or any park where you can do as you damn well please. you got together and made a change? really? by jumping over a locked and closed fence and trespassing, you made a change? that's sick! your butts should be in the can right now instead of plotting your next attempt to discredit the laws of the city! with any luck, the city leaders will grow a pair and do away with an abused and useless piece of wasteland for degenerates like yourself to "hang out and express yourselves"!
Perhaps you would like it if they turned the hoses and set the dogs on them!!! Nice of you to judge people you don't even know.
RadRainbows

Saint Louis, MO

#38 Sep 23, 2009
Dear who you kiddin, WE actually did make a change. Seeing how this is on the news. WE made a HUGE change, thats why WE now have a meeting with city hall. But thanks. WE will continue to fight for our park. I would rather be jumping fences for something I deserve then be out on the streets smoking crack and whoring myself out like alot of other kids I know. WE have a voice and WE will be heard. Power to the people.
loisoutraged

Saint Louis, MO

#39 Sep 23, 2009
I am so proud of the young people who were present at the skate park during the interview as well as the many who posted comments about the story. Many made such good points about needing safe places for recreation in our communities. I hope you'll continue to engage the adults in Florissant with your insightful ideas. Thanks for being mature and responsible!
Kelly

Saint Louis, MO

#40 Sep 26, 2009
Did they consult the teens about why they are not following the rules, and possibly allow them or their parents to sign a waiver if liability is the concern? These teens are doing something productive they are getting physical activity and they actively took pride in the area by fixing the grafitti they are working with the city.

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