FATE (CBSDFW.COM) – Someone shooting off fireworks has burned down a major portion of a playground at a North Texas school, Rockwall County authorities say.
It happened Monday at the Miss May Vernon Elementary School in Fate, a town about 25 miles east of Dallas.
“They burnt it down and now it’s barely anything. It’s very sad,” said Kylee Moore, a student there.
It was a double-sided climbing wall –– a student favorite –– and a good spot for photo opportunities. But Monday night, it was reduced to a puddle of plastic.
“I used the wall to climb on and it’s gone,” said Travis Poe, another student. “And it’s not coming back again.”
The housing on the adjoining slide may also be beyond saving.
“It’s just not the right thing to do,” says Baylee Moore, Kylee’s twin sister. “It’s illegal; it’s just not nice.”
Their mother, Lena Rizer, says the PTO recently paid for the sidewalk to make the playground wheelchair-accessible.
“All of our kids play on this. And now they’re going to come back to this next year,” Rizer said. “It’s horrible.”
She says the school’s insurance is for catastrophic events of $100,000 or more.
“I think it’s going to fall on the shoulders of the PTO to replace,” Rizer said.
The playground was more than mere play. Beau Lancaster has cerebral palsy. His mother, Shirley Lancaster, says his therapist-supervised workouts there.
“But it really helped him on his right side to start building up strength on his right side and help him with balance,” she said.
To add insult to injury, someone was out shooting off fireworks again Tuesday night, police say.
When Lancaster and her neighbors came out to the school Wednesday, they say there were remnants of used fireworks everywhere.
Rockwall County deputies came back to the school and determined there wasn’t much new evidence to be gleaned. However, they promised to keep an eye on the school.
There is surveillance video –– the suspects appear to be in a white Toyota Tundra and a dark-colored Chevrolet. Parents at the school are upset at the loss.
“I’m not so angry at them for that but they need to be held accountable and community service,” said Shirley Lancaster. “They need to help raise money to get this rebuilt.” And Beau Lancaster has a message for who did this. “I would just tell them that I’m sad.”
The school’s PTO is accepting donations for the anticipated replacement costs through the American National Bank of Texas in Royse City, through the Miss May Vernon Elementary PTO fund there.
But Beau Lancaster has another message for who did this: “I would just tell them that I’m sad.”