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Citizen complaint of the day: Making little kids shovel

Jamaica Plain kid with a snow shovel

A concerned citizen complains about conditions at the Mendell School on School Street in Egleston Square:

The Mendell not only does not have a gymnasium, but our parents have to buy the shovels AND clear the snow in the outside play area ourselves if we want our kids to have space to play in the winter.

Ed. note: 311 devotees should notice a flood of school-related complaints today as parents use 311 to protest proposed school budget cuts by pointing out problems at BPS schools.

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Comments

The sense of entitlement from these parents is unbelievable. Oh noes! You have to pick up a shovel yourself???

It's called being part of a community. Atomistic individualism run amok.

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also being part of a community: paying taxes from which money goes to operation and upkeep of schools

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Who, exactly, clears your street after a storm?

I'm betting that you ain't shovelling it.

SUCH ENTITLEMENT! WOW!

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I see what they're trying to say, but last I checked.. kids LOVE playing in the snow. So not exactly the best argument there.

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No one enjoys spending the day in wet clothes

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^^^ Never played in snow as a child.

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But wants to tell people who do how it is.

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It is pretty much impossible to get a classroom full of kids in and out of snow clothes for a 15 minute recess, which is so damn short because bureaucrats are Taylorizing childhood in order to destroy it.

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But seriously, children so much wasted motion.

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Doesn't this person know there are budget cuts? We can't fund BPS' pension obligations, busing, AND snow removal. Duh.

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You do know that BPS employees pay into the pension fund, right? So any obligation the city has is one they made while taking people's money.

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The city shouldn't plow your street. I think you should have to clear your street with a shovel.

Just saying.

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I'm usually the first one to tell people to suck it up and do your own damned shoveling, but this seems a bit beyond the pale. I don't see much difference between making parents and/or children clear snow from school property and making them clean the cafeteria as both are school property & fairly important to kids' well-being. I'd be pretty pissed if I were paying taxes to support schools and being asked to do daily maintenance as well.

PS I don't live in Boston and I don't have kids, so maybe I'm missing something. Feel free to enlighten me if I am.

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I'm inclined to agree with you. I actually used to live within a few houses of that school, and it's not just the school that the city fails to shovel, but a lot of public thoroughfares (IE, those sidewalks and staircases not covered under "in front of someone's house"). It's what I've come to expect here, but it's not good that a city whose taxes make it one of the highest costs of living in the nation can't keep its promises even to the tune of having a space for kids to exercise in the full half a year when going outside isn't so grand. In the case of schools it's even worse because of Walsh's specific campaign promises in regards to schools that seem to have gone the opposite way.

That said, this is a recently gentrified neighborhood, and so it's sort of interesting to compare the "it's my right to have things better" attitude of the incoming residents to the "that's the way it is" attitude of those who have lived there since this area was still considered "Roxbury". I see it less as entitlement (compare, for instance, seaport) and more as a lack of combat fatigue and a perspective that still includes the possibility that your government might be responsive to enough pressure.

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Has never spent a whole day inside with a child never mind 20. It's not conducive to learning or even sanity. It's a disgrace that in a supposed recovered economy that people are still being told there needs to be cuts.

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maybe they don't have the kids do the sidewalks and driveways? maybe just the play areas as a form of exercise/fun?

story time

when I was a kid my grandfather worked for the MBTA, shocker right? I know. anyway, he would stick my sister and I outside on snow days with MBTA coal shovels from the 40s or something( we had a lot of MBTA swag). they must have weighed 20 pounds and I barely weighed 30. anyway after a little bit of struggle gramps would come out and save the day with all the heavy shoveling. also, grandpa was completely blind.

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Deleted

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to be clear - the janitor at our school does a fantastic job of having a path cleared for the students, parents, faculty and staff to enter and exit the school! absolutely NO complaints about our wonderful janitor intended!!

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Thank you very much my job is to clear a path 36 inches wide I clear out half the court yard and by the way that shovel is bps issued...

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BPS can only solve this problem by giving more money to the janitors union due to collective bargaining even though the equipment and service would be better provided by someone who's primary business was snow removal. Seems like ideally janitors should deal with standard building maintenance and outlier things like snow removal over a certain amount (2" or something) would be handled in a different manner, more efficiently.

No, this is not an attack on the professionalism of any particular janitor nor am I saying that we should outsource that interior/general exterior work, etc... But asking 2-3 people to work OT to shovel out schools locally vs. having some other crew of people with snowblowers/bobcats/dump trucks, etc... is just not the best solution.

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I've worked at two schools that required bobcats because the city plows buried my schools sidewalks after we've cleared them. So frustrating.

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Good point - we're already paying people with city funds to remove snow - mandate that they take care of large scale snow removal at city owned and run facilities and leave stuff like today for the janitorial staff to handle. It would also remove this kind of jurisdictional crap where one city employee creates work for a different one.

win/win.

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Your hard work is appreciated but Boston (not BPS) should use big equipment for this type of snow removal. I live across the street from a school in Somerville and immediately following every storm the city clears the sidewalks, paths and open paved areas with their sidewalk snowplows and front loaders. After all of these years, you would think Boston could figure out how to clear snow from its public buildings. Snow removal of public sidewalks shouldn't come out of Boston school district's budget.

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The only place I worked at that actually removed snow was the Administration Building at Court Street. If there was a big enough storm they'd truck out the snow from the front of the building.

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