Arsonists Strike North Tulsa School Playground

Tuesday, December 21st 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A fire destroyed a part of a brand new playground at a north Tulsa school over the weekend. The fire at Jackson Elementary has been ruled as arson and the people who live near the school want some answers.

A playground is a place where children should play on shiny new equipment, instead of a pile of burned ashes. "We had a new playground installed a week ago,” said Debra Wiggins, Jackson Elementary principal. “Within days, a portion of it that cost $5,000 was destroyed." The Helmerich family of Tulsa had noticed all the improvements at Jackson Elementary including the rise in students' test scores and the effort to become a leader in community education. The family recently donated the $20,000 playground to the school.

Neighbors and parents of children who attend the school are wondering why anyone would want to destroy something dedicated to children. "I'm sick of people accusing those people who do things like this of being mentally ill,” said District 3 Councilor Roscoe Turner. “They're not ill, they're criminal. Someone knows who's doing this damage and we're here to say we will take no more."

School and neighborhood supporters are worried that whoever set the fire might do something worse the next time. "Help us at this time,” said Americorp’s James Grayson. “Let's stop it now before something even worse happens."

If you have any information about the Jackson Elementary playground arson, you can call 596-COPS. You don't have to give your name. You could earn up to $2,500 in cash if your tip leads to an arrest.