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Jensen Beach Elementary School plagued by ongoing vandalism

Martin County School District to install more security cameras
Posted at 1:45 PM, Apr 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-09 18:28:17-04

JENSEN BEACH, Fla. — The Martin County School District is investing in more surveillance cameras to make area schools safer and deter potential crimes.

Jensen Beach Elementary School has had ongoing issues since at least November with trespassers vandalizing school property, according to police reports.

Cameras could potentially help school leaders determine who is responsible for the damage if it continues.

The Martin County Sheriff's Office documented in November someone removing a large rock from the facade of the school and leaving it in the crosswalk of the car line, causing $50 in damage.

Someone damaged a classroom window in January, causing a 2-foot-long crack.

Inappropriate drawings on school playground at Jensen Beach Elementary School in March 2021
Inappropriate drawings were found on the school playground at Jensen Beach Elementary School in March 2021.

"It has been an ongoing issue with locals trespassing and damaging school property overnight and during weekends," an incident report states.

The window damage was worth about $200.

Someone in March drew inappropriate images on the basketball court and playground with chalk.

"It has been an ongoing issue with teenagers trespassing and sometimes vandalizing school property and equipment," the report said.

Frank Frangella, the director of Safety and Security for the Martin County School District, said school staff members have also come across broken glass, and possibly, a sunshade over the playground was damaged by someone climbing on the structure.

Frank Frangella, director of safety and security for Martin County School District
Frank Frangella says he hopes the new cameras will deter vandalism at Jensen Beach Elementary School.

"Our elementary students go on the playground, obviously glass would be dangerous for them if they’re playing there, and we miss that. Also, just the nature of what's being [drawn] on there, if we don't catch it, we don’t want to expose our kids to that," Frangella said.

The Martin County School District is using money earned through the half-cent sales tax to pay for upgraded security camera systems at all district schools. Jensen Beach Elementary has been bumped up on the list to get the cameras installed, as well as more lighting and signs.

"With the technology the way it is today, there are three-way cameras, there are all sorts of cameras that will help us and it’s so advanced we hopefully won’t miss anything on campus," Frangella said.

Deputies have also increased patrols around the school after hours and at night.