Thursday, April 10, 2008
Erin Brockovich in Medfield
It has been very exciting to see Fit Girls featured in the Real Runners section in the latest Runners World. I pulled my youngest daughter and five of her friends (who are all on the Medfield Fit Girls team) for a photo shoot which was great fun for them, although the session ran a bit long for them. The library setting (representing the literacy aspect of the program) works great.
The official Medfield Fit Girls training season kicks off the week after spring vacation, and there are 55 girls on the spring roster. In the past we have been running our laps around the pond (which is exactly a quarter mile) at the local cemetary which is a safe and pretty location where I can keep an eye on all the girls at all times. However, "someone" complained last fall. Evidently this "someone" didn't feel it was appropriate and respectful. Now, I certainly wouldn't have my girls run laps during a burial, and I do understand the need for quiet, reflective time, but there are lots of people who walk dogs, run, fish, and even go sledding in the winter. Yes, I have a large group but we limit our workouts to the space around the pond that is somewhat removed from the actual plots. And over the course of the year we are only there for 15 hours or so.
I tried to discuss the matter with both the principal and superintendent and was basically brushed off and told it was "non-negotiable". No discussion. They wouldn't even give me the opportunity to present my case or ask any questions. The lack of dialogue is actually what offended me the most as I work very hard to make the program a positive and up-lifting experience for all the girls. I don't think the superintendent has a clue what I do with the girls PLUS as an intramural it brings in a heck of a lot of money for the school system! At this point the Erin Brockovich started to come out which makes me wonder who has the legal right to make this decision? Isn't it town property? I'm a tax payer and so are all the parents of the fit girls? And who complained? Can we work out a compromise after discussing the matter from BOTH points of view? Some of the parents of the girls suggested I create a petition for them to sign, but it seems a bit silly and over the top to go down that path. This may require legal advice and representation from our DFMC law students!
Off to town hall for some research...