Primary school left angry as vandals break glass and relieve themselves in sandpit

A city school has begun an appeal for funds to help replace a sandpit left contaminated by vandals.

Vandals have smashed glass and relieved themselves in the sandpit at Warstones Primary School in Wolverhampton. The sand in the outdoor sandpit need to be replaced and until then children are not allowed in it. Pictured with Helen Brown are (L-R) Leo, Indie, Chase and Harleigh
Vandals have smashed glass and relieved themselves in the sandpit at Warstones Primary School in Wolverhampton. The sand in the outdoor sandpit need to be replaced and until then children are not allowed in it. Pictured with Helen Brown are (L-R) Leo, Indie, Chase and Harleigh

The sandbox and playground in the Early Years area at Warstones Primary School in Wolverhampton were damaged at the weekend by vandals, who had broken grass and relieved themselves in the large-sized sand pit.

Since the weekend, members of staff at the school have been able to clear up the damage to the playground area to allow children to safely use it.

However, the school has since closed the pit until it can be completely emptied and decontaminated, meaning children returning to school from Easter Holidays are unable to use it for safety reasons.

Warstones Primary School headteacher Fiona Feeney said the overriding feeling at the school over the damage was one of disappointment.

She said: "We're very disappointed and also quite angry as it's not just wanton vandalism.

"To actually break glass into the sandpit, for them, it's a few minutes of laughter, for us, it's a major work to replace it, plus the actual fact of doing that in an area where small children play is so dangerous.

"To do something that puts children at risk is massive and we can't help but think they don't know how much they're hurting children and hurting their community."

Mrs Feeney said the cost to the school was not just financial, but there was also an emotional cost through children not being able to use the sand pit, which she said was a focal part of the playground.

She said: "Monday was our first day back and we've got a lot of new early years who are just starting and we couldn't even let them out into the playground at all yesterday.

Leo, Indie, Chase, Harleigh and the rest of the children at Warstones Primary School have been unable to play in the sand because of the vandals

"That was due to staff checking for other places where glass could be found, so their first day at school was affected as a result, particularly in this beautiful weather."

Mrs Feeney said the public help in looking out for similar incidents was a great help, as was the support the school had got from the community.

She said: "The support we've had has been tremendous and we're very touched by it as it helps us to realise that the school is a central part of the community.

"It's disappointing that this can happen and we've got to work together to build a spirit and say that we don't do things like this in our community."

The school has started a Just Giving page to help raise funds to replace the sand and start repairs on the damaged playground equipment.

After setting a target of £1,000, more than £1,7000 had been donated by Wednesday lunchtime.

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