Murray schools are wonderful focal points in our communities, usually surrounded by many open spaces for kids to play and families to socialize.
Unfortunately, we are seeing two growing problems with pets and trash on school grounds.
Not cleaning up after a pet on school grounds violates Utah Code 53G-7-210. This school trespass law protects against the misuse of school grounds that “interferes with school function or purpose.” More on this is below.
The second is trash that is left behind by individuals and groups for formal or informal gatherings on school grounds. This violates Utah Code 76-10-2702, prohibiting littering on public and private lands.
Here’s the deal, we love dogs and are happy to allow citizens to use school grounds for all kinds of fun – games, picnics, gatherings, and more. The problem is far too many are ignoring posted signs and warnings of important laws. [Incidently: If you would like to book the use of one of our facilities for a formal gathering, please contact Kristen Davis at (801) 264-7400.]
But enforcement is also a problem – we simply don’t have the funds or personnel to supervise grounds 24/7. The solution is twofold:
- A reminder to everyone that if you use our facilities, please clean up after yourself; and, to take it a step further, help keep other trash you come upon picked up;
- And secondly, please abide (and help others to abide) by pet cleanup laws on school grounds; if you see a violation, consider reminding the person, or you can contact law enforcement at Murray City.
Why Such a Big Deal?
We all know why littering is bad, but what some dog owners forget is that children play on these open grounds. And each day, we have far too many instances where a student accidentally steps, sits, or rolls in pet feces.
When our recess duties notice it, we try to help children remove it before they enter the building. Sometimes it’s so bad we have to replace shoes and clothing items with what we have on hand or by calling parents. Other times, it goes unnoticed until a child comes in from recess and spreads it on flooring (including carpet), interrupting instruction and embarrassing students.
At a minimum, this is a distraction from a productive learning environment. But it also poses health risks to children. This includes unknowingly becoming exposed to and spreading illness-causing bacteria to themselves, other children, or family members.
YOU Can Help Us
Again, we ask for your help, support, and awareness of this important issue. If you see something going on, please speak up either to the individual(s) in violation, school officials, or Murray City PD. And lend us a hand with any trash you see that can be easily removed.