Students find knife on playground

BEACON FALLS — Two kindergarten students found a folding knife on the playground at Laurel Ledge Elementary School earlier this month, leading school officials to start locking the gate again at night.

Region 16 Superintendent of Schools Michael Yamin said the students found the knife on April 2. They weren’t harmed and brought the knife to the school’s security guard, he said.

Officials in the region, which is comprised of Beacon Falls and Prospect, have been dealing with ongoing issues at the playground. Last fall, the playground was vandalized three times over a month. In March, officials found a pile of empty beer cans on the field near the playground. The issues caused school officials to lock the gate to the playground at night and on weekends, which meant children and families in the surrounding neighborhoods couldn’t use the playground during those times.

The Board of Education choose to give it another try to leave the gate open. Yamin said the gate was left open the night before the students found the knife. He said officials started to lock it again.

Yamin said officials want to keep the area open for the community, but have had ongoing problems at the playground.

Yamin and school board Chair Robert A. Hiscox both said the region needs the support of the community to help ensure the playground area is safe and maintained when school isn’t in session.