Northwest NEWS

July 10, 2000

Editorial

Letters from Young Readers

Skateboarders are not a menace

   Most people think skateboarders are reckless, dress funny, and have foul mouths. The reality is that not all skaters are bad. Some are respectful young kids who are just like basketball, baseball, or football players enjoying the sport they love.

   If people could actually get to know the skaters rather than always be snickering at them, then they might actually find out that most skaters are nice, normal people. I would have an incredible amount of respect for the people who might go out on a limb and get to know a few skaters in their area.

   Some people kick skateboarders off their property where they are skating merely because they think they are reckless and annoying. One time, I was skateboarding in downtown Bellevue, and I was skating through a parking lot when a man who was getting out of his car to go into the store yelled, "Hey, get off that skateboard!" He thought that because I was skateboarding, I was reckless and endangering his safety. This man obviously tried to get me off my board because he was following the skateboarder stereotype that all skaters are bad.

   Now some people kick skaters off of their property because of insurance issues or safety risks. I think that if the skaters trying to skate would sign a waiver of liability, then perhaps skateboarders would be able to skate without the owner of the property having to worry about responsibility.

   So, my challenge to you, the reader, is not to adhere to the stereotype that all skaters are bad, and go out into your community to try and get to know some of the skateboarders. Then maybe you will see that not every single skater is reckless or a menance to society.

Mike Hensen, Bothell