Vandals strike at school playground

BEACON FALLS — School officials have started locking the gate to the playground area at Laurel Ledge Elementary School following a few vandalism incidents.

Region 16 Superintendent of Schools Michael Yamin said the playground has been vandalized three times over the past month. He said racial slurs were carved into swing seats and a part of the slide was broken.

Yamin said there is a surveillance camera that shows the area, but none of the incidents were captured on camera.

The issue came up at last week’s Region 16 Board of Education meeting when board members questioned why the gate was locked, adding residents like to use the playground.

Yamin told the board he believes community members should be able to utilize the playground, but the decision was made following the third incident to lock the gate after school to protect the equipment.

Yamin said there were no incidents after officials started locking the gates. He said the district bought equipment to replace what was damaged, which was a minimal cost. After the equipment comes in, he said the district will leave the gate open after school and have it locked at dark, and see if any more vandalism occurs at the playground.