The Lewiston-Porter School Board may have resolved the issue of allowing skateboarding on campus.
A parent of two teen-agers asked the School Board Tuesday why it was wrong for his son to skateboard on school property. Steve Boddecker of East Avenue, Youngstown, said: "We're trying to find him a safe place, him and his friends, to skateboard. . . . There's not a lot of places to skateboard. Unfortunately, those kids get labeled as hoods."
School Superintendent Walter S. Polka said that many times in the spring, staff members kicked skateboarders off of school property, most often behind the South Elementary School, because they damaged concrete and a bench.
Assistant Superintendent Don W. Rappold said "It's an unsafe activity. If it's a supervised activity, it'd be fine. . . . Those students are at risk. We've seen some acrobatic feats that would raise your eyebrows."
He added that if youths are injured while skateboarding, unsupervised and on school property, the district would be sued.
However, board member R. Nils Olsen Jr., who is also dean of the University at Buffalo Law School, said there is a way to let the students skate and still keep the district free of lawsuits.
Parents could sign a waiver to allow their children to skate on the district grounds, which would keep the district free of responsibility if the students get hurt, he said.
Polka said he would ask a staff member to see how many students were interested in skateboarding and to further study what the district's liability is.
In another matter, the board voted 5-1 to take out an independent contractor agreement with P. Rudy Mattai to provide ongoing cultural diversity programs for administrators, faculty, staff, students and community members. In addition, he will serve as a conflict resolution consultant on an as needed basis.