BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Only two of Birmingham’s pools will be opening on Memorial Day weekend, parks and recreation announced Monday morning.
While many are unhappy only two pools will be opening at the end of May, some think taking away activities for kids in the summer could lead to more trouble in the streets.
“I’d rather see them swimming than shooting,” says community activist Harry “Traveling Shoes” Turner.
Traveling Shoes says he’s worried this summer could get bloody.
“This is the end of the school year and children are already getting threats, ‘I’m going to get you during the summer,’ so we definitely don’t need to have fatalities at our open, public events because we didn’t have the proper security, the proper policing,” says Traveling Shoes.
Traveling Shoes says every week starting Thursday, he’ll host a Stay In School free skate night to hopefully give 30-50 kids something fun and safe to do.
“We don’t want to have a real-life situation where instead of our children running and playing, they’re putting roses on a casket,” says Traveling Shoes.
However, others in the community think even with most of the city’s pools being closed, there are still enough activities that the city won’t see a problem.
“If there’s an uptick in violence, there’s some other societal issues that’s going on. It won’t be the resources,” says Frederic Bolling. “We just have to buckle down and figure out how to prioritize what’s most important for the city.”
Birmingham Parks and Recreation plans to update which pools will open on Tuesday and list other activities kids can get involved with this summer.