Anyone with information on the spate of vandalism at Fruitvale Elementary School is encouraged to contact the Trail RCMP detachment at 250.364.2566. Photo: School District 20

Ongoing vandalism at Fruitvale Elementary School puts children in harm’s way

The school is located at 1867 Columbia Gardens Road in Fruitvale

An ongoing problem with vandalism at Fruitvale Elementary School has members of the Parents Advisory Council asking locals to keep their eyes on the Columbia Gardens Road property and to report bad acts when they happen.

Since August there’s been almost weekly calls to the Trail RCMP detachment to report incidents including: numerous beer bottles located and smashed in the staff parking lot on the north side of the school; exterior lights broken on the north side of the school; ladder stolen and used to access the roof of the school where numerous empty liquor containers were located; significant amount of broken glass along the south side of the school; racially insensitive and sexually suggestive graffiti on the playground and exterior of the school; numerous profanities carved into wood surfaces; and damage to the keyless entry sensors, one burnt and the other completely smashed.

“The above had been cleaned up and fixed before the Trail RCMP was notified,” Sgt. Mike Wicentowich told the Times. “A Trail RCMP officer discussed options with the school to help reduce vandalism and increase surveillance at the property. We are asking the public in the area to remain vigilant and call the Trail RCMP if they witnessed any public drinking or vandalism occurring on the school grounds.”

Anyone with information to report on the suspects is urged to call the Trail detachment at 250.364.2566.

“Trail RCMP would like the Fruitvale Elementary School grounds to remain a safe space for the children, parents, and staff who attend it every day,” the sergeant said.

“Broken glass, graffiti, and vandalism bring unnecessary dangers and negativity into children’s lives where the focus should be their education and positive social development. We encourage the public to report on these activities so the Trail RCMP can put an end to it as soon as possible.”

In March of this year, police reported that on three separate occasions during spring break, an unknown suspect smashed florescent glass light bulbs on the grounds of the Fruitvale Elementary School. The broken glass created a hazard for children using the playground, and cleaning up all the tiny glass shards proved very problematic.

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