Wayne Township elementary school targeted by vandals

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – After weeks of vandalism at Maplewood Elementary School in Wayne Township, the superintendent of the district is putting out a notice to the community.

On Sunday night, parents received a phone call and an email asking them to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity at the school.

“It just makes me upset we have to worry about things like this," said parent Fordena Wilson.

The school's Director of Security Lieutenant Doug Scheffel says vandalism has happened multiple times over the past few weeks. Kids are getting onto the roof, ripping up vents and pipes. So far it has cost the school a few hundred dollars to replace.

“It's not only dangerous to them, but it’s costing taxpayers money," Lt. Scheffel said. "We have to fix these things, and it adds up.”

"My son does have special needs, and that probably takes away from the budget for that, or the lunch budget, or anything," said parent Leean Johnson. "It just affects the school in many different ways.”

The school also found damage on the playground, where small fires were set. Someone then used the soot to draw inappropriate images on the wall.

While the school will start ramping up patrols after hours, Superintendent Dr. Jeff Butts says they won’t be closing it off.

“We know we do not have as many parks as we would like on the west side of Indianapolis and Wayne Township, so our schools tend to serve as that place where families can come and enjoy themselves,” Butts said. "We want that to continue. We don’t want to lock down our playgrounds. We don't want to lock down any of our facilities.”

As those families gather over the next few weeks, the school hopes those extra eyes will also do their part.

"We know that many eyes around this community will make this a safer environment, one we can all enjoy,” Butts said.

Anyone who sees suspicious activity is asked to contact police. The school security will also be ramping up patrols.

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