WALKERTON – A group of neighbours in the area of Fischer Dairy Road and Hinks Street would like something done about the debris strewn on their lawns and driveways on a daily basis by students stopping on their way to school, or on lunch break, for a smoke.

The students are not allowed to smoke on school property, of course, so they go across the road.

One of the neighbours, Janice Hawkins, said, “It’s been the same for 11 years.”

The group noted that there have been repeated complaints to the school, school board, health unit, municipality, mayor, members of council, police – even the MP. And the debris continues to be strewn on their lawns. One member of the group said they wouldn’t want to try to sell their home in winter, when there’s no waste container provided. And even when there is, food wrappers, cigarette butts and worse get tossed onto the ground anyway.

It’s not only the debris. The group spoke about one neighbour trying to pull out of their driveway. Although the crowd of young people stepped aside to allow the car to leave, they still blocked the sight lines, meaning the driver was pulling onto the road in an unsafe situation.

Then there is the intimidation. They described how some families with younger children take them to school, even though it is close by, because of the older students’ behaviour and language. 

Anyone who attempts to speak to the older teens risk receiving curses and rude comments. The neighbours spoke about a mom pushing a child in a stroller who was verbally attacked by the teens. There have also been fights that the neighbours have tried to break up.

The matter has been brought before Brockton council a number of times, and the neighbours are fed up hearing there’s nothing that can be done.

They’d like to see a designated smoking area for the students, so they wouldn’t be forced onto private property. And they’d like to see their right to enjoy their own property protected, and not have to collect garbage from their lawns on a daily basis.

By Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Mar 22, 2024 at 07:00

This item reprinted with permission from   The Herald-Times   Walkerton, Ontario
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