Injured student’s parents concerned about the safety of school site

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by Tristan Turner

A 14-year-old student at Morinville Community High School (MCHS) experienced broke their forearm May 1. The student’s parents say the injury happened on school property in the field between the Morinville Community Cultural Centre and the Circle K store along 100 Ave. The student, according to one of their parents, was playing on a metal goal post with other students at the time of the injury. After one student jumped and hung off the crossbar of the post, a section of the structure of uprights that were on the posts broke off and fell, crushing the student’s arm under its weight.

The student’s father Kevin (last name withheld to protect student’s identity) said he is thankful the injuries were not more severe.

“This object fell inches from my son’s body,” he said. “If this thing would have struck him in the head or the torso, the doctor’s said this would have been a totally different situation. This could have been a fatality …”

Kevin said that due to the crushing nature of the injury, surgery may be required, though doctors are presently uncertain.

Both parents feel that the site is not safe.

“[After the accident], I took a close look at the welds [on the goal post] and they were completely rusted,” Kevin told Morinville News. “There wasn’t [a] shiny piece of steel to be seen, which means this has been in this condition for some time. The kids didn’t cause this thing to fall to the ground… It wasn’t inspected.”

Kevin said when he spoke to the school about the matter, they could not offer any comment on the incident or the state of the goal posts.

It has raised many questions about who was responsible for the upkeep of the structure, and they say neither the Town nor the school has provided clear answers.

Town claims no responsibility

After speaking with Morinville administrative staff, the Town claims that this site is not their maintenance responsibility.

David Schaefer, Director of Corporate Operations with the Town, said they have engaged in “joint use agreements” with the school, and have worked with them to do various upkeep, including reflowing the track on the field, the site is not Town of Morinville resposibility.

Claude Valcourt, Director of Public Works, said that the lot was “privately owned,” making it outside the Town or MCHS’ responsibility to maintain nor MCHS.

Valcourt said Town land maintained by his department follows a regular schedule of upkeeping the sites they are responsible for, including using portable posts that can be removed at the end of the season.

School looking into the issue – provides no comment

MCHS Principal Don Hinks told Morinville News that the issue was being examined but could offer no further comment.

He directed Morinville News to the Division employee responsible for school infrastructure. They did not return a request for further comment by deadline.

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19 Comments

  1. I was thinking the same thing, yes should have been looked at but the posts were never meant for hanging off of. I tell my children all the time they are not for hanging off of for this exact reason. Glad he wasn’t seriously injured.

  2. Those things have been there forever like what did they expect no rust and they arent playground equipment nobody’s fault that the kids were stupid playing on something so old like thats what it was designed for

  3. I’m glad the kid is ok. But seriously blaming the equipment and school for a choice your child made. They are not for hanging off. Nice way to pass the blame instead of using it to teach your child a lesson about consequences.

    • I whole heartedly agree with Michelle.
      If you do not see this as an opportunity to teach a child a lesson in consequences, then you are part of the problem with today’s youth not understanding consequences, and apparently parents not understanding them either!
      The goalposts should never have been allowed to become this unsafe. They could have easily Fallen during a windy day while people were playing soccer there, and somebody could have gotten seriously hurt. That having been said, it does not change the fact that these children were climbing on equipment that is not designed to be climbed on and got hurt as a result. Therefore consequences to your actions. It’s far too common today to blame everybody else 4 things that happen instead of taking responsibility for yourself. And yes if it was my kid I would feel the exact same way.

    • This is a completely different situation! An exercise bike is designed to be used the way your granddaughter was using it. Equipment breaking under these conditions are not the user’s fault. Climbing on equipment not designed to be climbed on is a different story and the kid suffered the result of his actions.

  4. We all did this as kids …. kids will be kids and do stupid things it’s about learning lessons as we grow…. I agree it’s not playground equipment but it is on school property so it should’ve been looked at …. however if there were multiple children screwing around that is on the children too then . I think it’s a prime example of lesson learned all around … I’m just glad the child was not more severely hurt and will recover from his injuries .

  5. I agree
    It wasn’t 10 kids it wasn’t 8
    Yes there were seven kids there however only one was on the structure the other jumped up to do a chin up when it fell
    I highly doubt a 1000 pound structure would fall when maybe 200 pounds were on it
    Thanks for the compassion though he has spent the day in the hospital today to see if he requires surgery

  6. This was a goal post. Meant for kicking a ball through. Not for holding any kind of weight. Is an inspector supposed to be assuming that nothing will be used as it was meant to? If so, their jobs will never be done. It is unfair to try to find someone at fault for a piece of equipment not working properly for a task it was not meant to do.

  7. It shouldn’t be an issue to have 30 children hanging from those steel uprights without complete structural failure. Its what kids do. The only injuries should be when they fall down. Not when the structure collapses on them. The endzone could have been packed with a team. You just can’t ignore rusting steel by putting regular fresh coats of paint to make them look nice. If it were a vehicle it would have been taken off the road by now.

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