JCPS: Bye-bye bounce houses, banned on campuses - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

JCPS: Bye-bye bounce houses, banned on campuses

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Aaron Smallwood Aaron Smallwood
Ben Jackey Ben Jackey

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Jefferson County Public Schools have initiated a bounce house ban! Don't look for the kid-favorite inflatables on JCPS campuses anymore. This week, school district officials decided they were more trouble than they are worth.

Bounce houses have long been a staple of fairs and festivals. Aaron Smallwood and his mother have taken all the smiles and squeals bouncers generate and turned them into a business that measures fun by the ton. Bounce houses and other inflatables make up a large part of Tons of Fun Party Rentals and schools are a big chunk of their customers

"They've got field days, they've got after proms," Smallwood said. 

But they won't be at JCPS, at least not any more. 

"Within our insurance coverage, it does not cover us for things like trampolines and then things that rebound, a bouncy would be one of those things," explained Ben Jackey, a JCPS spokesman.

Jackey said until this point the district had tried to make allowances for party companies who could cover the extra cost through added insurance, but all too often, it was a paperwork nightmare.

"So we were either not able to have them as a vendor," said Jackey, "or the work would be done and then we'd have to pay them and we wouldn't have the proper insurance."

So on May 8, the district sent out a memo to all principals banning bouncers on school property.

"They are being the fun police. I would definitely say that," Smallwood said, "They're trying to control the fun ... I don't understand how they could take something like this away from (the kids)."

"Our mission is education," countered Jackey, "and so while this usually is the type of thing that is used for a reward type purpose, there are other things that schools can do to reward their students."

Tons of Fun says its inflatables are inspected by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture to make sure they're sound and safety is the business' number one goal. However, a study late last year by an emergency room doctor in Ohio revealed there are no nationwide standards for bounce houses and the number of children treated for injuries from them shot up 1500% percent from 1995 to 2010. 

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