San Luis Obispo shuts down parks to stop bullying and harassment

July 21, 2021

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

A group of skateboarders allegedly engaged in a harassment campaign targeting members of a San Luis Obispo youth roller derby league that included throwing food; yelling obscenities, including racial slurs; offering drugs; and making threatening gestures with a taser.

SLOCO Junior Roller Derby, a nonprofit roller derby league for youth ages 4 to 17, says the harassment has increased over the last few weeks. The roller derby league detailed the harassment in a Facebook post on Monday.

“Over the past three weeks our team, young skaters, coaches and our board of directors, have been subject to increasing incidence of harassment from young boys and men from the skate park,” according to a derby Facebook post. “It started with throwing grapes and other bits of food at our skaters during practice, to offering drugs and threatening gestures with a taser.

“Until yesterday, when this group of skate boarders tore our posted signs and stormed the rink before we had finished our practice during our reserved rink time.

“These young people proceeded to yell and scream obscenities at our coaches when they were told they could not be on the rink during our practice time, or at all per posted rules that do not allow skateboarders in the rink at all because how expensive it is to resurface. They called our coaches the N word, the C word and even called our skaters who were with us whores. They refused to leave our space and we ended up calling the police.”

In response, the San Luis Obispo Parks and Recreation Department announced Tuesday it has limited use of the Ken Hampian Roller Rink through Aug. 9 to only those who have registered permits. Drop-in basketball, too, will not be allowed at the roller rink through Aug. 9.

“Harassment and bullying of any kind is unacceptable,” The SLO Parks and Recreation Department said in a statement explaining it decision. “The SLO Skate Park, Ken Hampian Roller Rink and other parks are meant to be safe places where anyone can play or recreate and have a good time. We don’t want to have to do this, but it’s necessary to prevent unauthorized skating behaviors, maintain the rink and to keep everyone safe.”

In turn, the roller derby league said locking the skate rink is not a solution and only punishes those who want to roller skate, roller blade and play basketball.


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calal

I usually don’t get my fingers dirty commenting in these forums, but I registered here just to ask if anyone else noticed the burning irony on display in this story. Junior roller derby – local entry point for five year old kids – apparently meant to build character. Skating around knocking people down. Yeah, it’s not exactly the old “professional” roller derby, where after enough elbows got thrown into enough faces, both benches emptied into a brawl. But oooh, actual real skate punks show up and start throwing things and cursing, and the “grownups” call the heat. Tell me I’m not all alone here…


derasmus

Well I think you said it, you are alone.


Messkit

Yes. You’re alone. By your analysis, football should create the next Hitler because of the war-like conduct of the game. I can’t imagine where you would go with hockey…


Roller Derby is played with a set of rules and conduct on a limited playing field, that govern how, when, and if you may cause another player to fall. For that reason, players are well suited with padding to mitigate harm and injuries. To play as a team, where individuals have certain tasks that, properly combined and executed, create a winning strategy, does indeed build character and life lessons. None of which, can be attributed to random disruptive little pukes, who don’t have the balls to entice any level of fear into people that can smash their pathetic ego’s, and bodies, into mush. I don’t recall hearing about them bullying the adult women Roller Derby teams…


Robert1

Typical liberal response, instead of sending LEO down there to arrest the miscreants and notify their parents we punish the whole community by limiting access to the public paid-for property.


sardonicsentiment

The animosity stems from the roller skaters utelizing the skateboard park at the same time as the skateboarders. It makes it really really hard if not impossible to skateboard when there’s, literally 20, little kids and women on roller skates that have zero awareness or skatepark etiquette. (Believe it or not there is a system, skaters mostly take turns and watch out for each other) I personally stopped going to this park because of how crowded and un structured it became. I’m not trying to crash into 5 year old girls. Parents tend to freak out if you even go by them at high speed.


The skaters decided to give it back to them on their turf in the roller rink. Very very poorly executed and definitely out of hand. But it is what it is :/ Respect has to mutual.


Messkit

Oh my gosh! How horrible that the public would want to use a private park, that you paid good money to enter! These newbs come to YOUR personal skatepark, built by the city just for you and your hand-picked friends, and bogart all the highly recognized skillz you think you possess! I mean, you’re all set for your Thrasher photo spread and centerfold, and for sure X Games contract, and here comes a bunch of locals to destroy your dreams of the Skateboard Hall Of Fame.


Ohhhh! That’s right! It’s a PUBLIC park that allows ANYONE to use it free of charge!


YOU are the problem at the park….squid.


kayaknut

Kinda sounds like the same logic officials have in S.F., if businesses would like to stop theft just close your stores or reduce your hours so those who steal will have less time in which to do it.


obispan

I hate Ken Hampion’s philosophy. Why is the skate park named for him? He was a developer’s tool deciding that existing SLO water rate payers pay 80% of developer’s costs to provide additional water in the interest of more housing without paying proportional development impact fees. All of this goes into the developer’s pocket, out of which they pay Heidi Harmon, her predecessors, “in-the-loop” consultants with City Ptanning connections, and her ilk the “usual and customary charges” but stick the vast majority of infrastructure on existing residents. Water and sewer rates have gone through the roof, with little for existing infrastructure improvements (that will be another 1% sales tax increase promised to go infrastructure but actually replacing budgeted funds for SLO City pensions).


Buchon

It’s highly disgusting that any public facility was named after a govt functionary like Hampion who was certainly nothing special for our local community. Talk about local hubris…


kayaknut

I thought SLO passed a ordinance of no person naming of public facilities and a need to change those already in place, of course except for the “Harmon Center for Inclusiveness”


Messkit

Dr. Spock (no, not that one. The real doctor, (and wives) that was a hard left leftist) advocated childhood permissiveness, the theory was to make good citizens of very young children by not traumatizing them with hugs or kisses, or comfort when they cry. Know what happened? Hippies, and their hippy kids, and those hippy kids had the rotten punks we are forced to live with today, because they never received a lesson on consequence of action nor empathy towards others.


Us “old people”, who’s parents didn’t fall for Dr. Spock’s asinine opinions, learned that there are actual limits in life, especially in knowing how to be civil to others with love and respect, are aghast that society not only condones the antics of these punks, but the SLO Mayor actually endorses it!


My Dad, would have walked over to any one of these azzpoles, whopped him in the head, kicked his rear, literally, out of the rink, and warned them that he would be out of jail and having dinner many many days before they went home from the hospital, should any of them want to continue being idiots.


“Oh…but Mr Messkit, it’s illegal for an adult to touch a juvenile” And there is the societal crux of the situation. I guarantee that most of the parents there, and the coach, would have loved to whup some punk butts for being so stupid. But, see my 2nd paragraph…


sbjcl

So the SLO Recreation Dept. solution is to let the mob rule by shutting down. How about sending LEO to teach these punks some manners and slap their parents with heavy fines.