Tuesday, December 16, 2014

School playground safety standards

Photo by Jim Mathey
Jim Matheny and I worked on a four-month investigation into playground safety standards at dozens of school districts in East Tennessee that revealed a variety of problems and inconsistencies.

From a shortage of inspections to failures to receive notice of safety recalls, the issues have resulted in children being sent to the hospital and taxpayer dollars spent to cover medical bills.

In this first of three stories, we examine how frequently schools are conducting safety inspections, certification requirements for inspectors, and a failure to repair problems that are identified.

A WBIR 10News investigation found many of these problems at Knox County Schools, the area's largest school district:
  • KCS does not inspect its playgrounds according to industry standards
  • KCS sometimes takes months to correct a problem – if it even does fix it
  • KCS still hasn't inspected all of its playgrounds for the current school year
  • KCS does not have a certified playground inspector
These issues are not entirely unique to Knox County Schools. Our investigation over the next few days reveals how school systems across the area stack up on safety compared to industry standards.

The full story is RIGHT HERE.

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