LOS ANGELES (WCMH) – A proposal in Los Angeles, if enacted, would ban people from playgrounds in city parks if they aren’t there with their children.
According to KPCC, the motion was introduced by Councilman Mitch O’Farrell.
O’Farrell told the radio station that he came up with the idea after hearing from constituents who were avoiding a park because of drug activity.
“We certainly aren’t doing this so that we create some sort of police state activity in our parks, but we are certainly doing this so that we will heavily discourage any adult who might have some sort of predatory ideas or ideas to take over a children’s play area for their own purposes,” O’Farrell said.
In an editorial published Monday in the LA Times, the paper’s editorial board called the proposal “fear-based policy making at its worst.”
O’Farrell argues that we can’t assume every adult who wanders into a children’s play area is benign. But why should the city assume that every adult without a child is a pedophile? That makes a childless adult a criminal just for being in a particular public space, which is an overreach that can lead to foolish enforcement — like ticketing people for sitting on a bench eating donuts.
The proposal is a long way from becoming an ordinance. It still has to be drafted and reviewed by several committees. It likely won’t be voted on until early next year.