School inspectors in New Jersey have ordered a rural child-care facility in Moorestown, N.J. to remove all tree branches below 7.5 feet from the school property because they may potentially injure children who run into or trip over them.
In her 30 years on the job, director Sue Maloney has never seen a child injured by these branches, and she feels that removing them would be “fundamentally changing a great place for children.”
Our increasingly litigious culture of fear has, in the words of acclaimed author Richard Louv, "scared children straight out of the woods and fields," resulting in sterile, risk-free play environments that harm our children’s development. In a day and age when the average child spends 7.5 hours in front of a screen, it is a travesty to further deprive children of opportunities for outdoor nature play by removing the tree branches.
Please ask Jane Minella, Supervisor of the Child Care Quality Assurance Inspections at the New Jersey Office of Licensing, to reconsider their demand.
Photo by theunquietlibrarian (cc).