Kindy again hit by vandals

By Genevieve Helliwell


Vandals have ripped a kindergarten's shade sail to shreds and left rude drawings on the children's slide.

The vandals struck Botanical Rd Kindergarten in Tauranga in the early hours of yesterday morning. When staff arrived at the kindergarten, they had to spend about half an hour scrubbing phallic images off the playground before the children arrived.

Teacher Ange Taylor said the kindergarten had been targeted by vandals for over a month.

"It's disgusting what we've found and now it's gone beyond a joke," she said.

"The shade sail has been ripped to tatters and disgusting, offensive pornographic pictures have been painted on our slide."

The mindless acts of vandalism began about five weeks ago. Staff arrived one morning and found the security lights surrounding the kindergarten had been smashed and the shed had been tagged. Shards of glass littered the outdoor area, which posed a safety problem for the 65 children enrolled in the kindergarten, Mrs Taylor said.

The outdoor tables had graffiti all over them, which staff had to scrub and varnish off.

A couple of weeks later staff found traces of burned paper stuffed under the kindergarten doors.

"They've lit the paper and shoved it under the door to try to start a fire. It's attempted arson," Mrs Taylor said.

In other acts of vandalism, those responsible attempted to light a fire under the sandpit and the outside shed. A portion of steel fence had been pulled apart, which was a concern as children could wander off the property.

Mrs Taylor said they would look at installing security cameras, which could cost $2000-$3000, so fundraising would be needed.

Four-year-old Jack Steiner said the attacks on the playground were "no good". "They have to find a way to fix this before it gets more dangerous," he said.

Staff urged the public to phone the police if they saw any suspicious activity or people loitering around the kindergarten.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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