School districts, city parks having issues with people abiding by rules to stay off playgrounds

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — School and city playgrounds are closed, yet people aren’t playing by the rules. Nice weather makes it tempting to head to the swing set, but gathering there is putting people’s health at risk.

People aren’t only ignoring the closed signs – they’re tearing them down.

“Within hours of our crew putting that tape up, the tape was already down,” said Dr. Jeff Butts, the Superintendent of M.S.D of Wayne Township, “We’ve been getting lots of phone calls asking us why we are still allowing people to play basketball or run on our tracks, play on our playgrounds – we’re not.”

Wayne Township has taken steps to eliminate gathering, but people are still hanging out on playground equipment and tearing down the caution tape they have set up. People are even removing the wood blocking the basketball rim.

Superintendent Butts tweeted about his concern to warn people, to please abide by the rules.

“They need to continue to shelter in place until we can get this under control,” Butts added.

School resource officers are patrolling, but there’s not enough manpower to watch all facilities.

“They are roaming throughout the district,” said Butts, “Again, we don’t have enough to place them at every one of our facilities, they’re just chasing the different playgrounds.”

Although school is out, security cameras still exist; yet, there’s not much the district can do other than hope people follow the rules.

“At this point there is no consequence other than the natural consequence potentially, maybe a piece of that equipment having the virus on it,” said Butts.

It’s an issue that Indy Parks is also dealing with.

“If you want us to stay open, we have to take special precautions,” said Brittany David the Senior Park Manager for Eagle Creek Park, “We have closed all playgrounds, all basketball courts, all tennis courts, and now all golf courses.”

Indy Parks have added signage to keep people away and are relying on park rangers to monitor crowds.

Just like people in Wayne Township are removing wood on basketball rims to play, Indy Parks is also left to clean up a mess.

“Unfortunately, we’ve seen an increase in litter, we’ve seen latex gloves dropped on the ground, we’ve seen dogs off leash and parking outside designated areas,” said David.

Playgrounds will eventually re-open, but until then, the caution tape has to remain.

“Let’s get this thing stopped, so we can go back to school,” Butts added.

If you would like to contact Indy Parks for information regarding their closed facilities call (317) 327-PARK or click here to learn more.

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