Preston special school attackers left drugs behind in play area

A Preston headteacher said she was devastated after vandals attacked the school within hours of lockdown being eased, ;eaving drug paraphernalia behind.

Tuesday, 19th May 2020, 3:45 pm
Acorns Primary headteacher Gail Beaton in the play shed with some of the drugs left behind by vandals

Gail Beaton, head at Acorn primary, a school for children with special needs, believes the school was targeted by bored youths.

The school on the edge of Moor Park in Blackpool Road, Preston, caters for children with special educational needs and other disabilities and has remained open for the very vulnerable and children of key workers.

Because of its location, the school and neighbouring Larches high school, have been subjected to vandalism.

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But, Gail said: " When lockdown started there were no incidents of vandalism.

"On Good Friday a huge rotten tree fell on the school. It was growing in Moor Park but as it fell it smashed the fence ( a lucky escape it is completely covered the driveway).

"The first two nights since easement of the restrictions there have been loads of vandalism and trespass at school."

The culprits got into a play shed and ripped open outdoor beanbags used by children in wheelchairs for outdoor play and left tiny beads strewn all over the play area.

They also attacked an internal play area, opening cupboards and messing with play equipment.

Gail added: "They've been dancing on the roof and cracked some of the tiles. We know that water has got in because some of the lights don't work."

She said: " We also found a small bag of drugs in the play area shed, a lighter and a screwdriver."

The devastated head said: "I don't see what they got out of it to do so much mindless vandalism.

"They've been in a dedicated play area that was only just finished at the end of December and the with Covid-19 happening in March we've had scant use of a really expensive play area.

The children who have been up there have absolutely loved it, so why on earth they would choose to damage anything for children is beyond me as they can see children have additional needs and really need that space."

Anti vandal paint has now been put on all areas and police have been informed