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My Local School Called Security on Me Because I Was Watching the Kids!

Lenore Skenazy on

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood -- Queens, New York. I'm walking by one of the local elementary schools and slow down to watch the girls doing cartwheels at recess. Over and over, they practice -- proof that in free play, kids learn frustration tolerance and focus. That's why I'm such a fan.

I stop to watch another gaggle of kids playing hopscotch like I used to do. The teacher or teacher's aide looks over at me through the chain-link fence towering above us: "Ma'am, you cannot stand there. You have to move."

"I can't stand here ... on the public sidewalk?" I ask.

"No. You're not allowed to watch the kids."

"I think I am. I'm on a public sidewalk, I'm not taking pictures and I don't even have my phone out."

"You have to leave."


"I really think I'm allowed to stay here," I say, half angry, half baffled. I AM allowed to stay on a public sidewalk, separated from the kids by a fence ... aren't I?

"If you don't leave, I'm calling security."

I shrug but decide to leave. I hate confrontations.

After walking a bit beyond the playground, I pause to think about what just happened. I take out my phone and tweet:


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