VANDALS have burnt many holes in the shade shelter over a memorial to a deceased Batemans Bay Public School student and it must now be replaced.
Dylan Willis accidentally drowned 10 years ago and his family honoured his sense of play with a sand pit, shelter and plaque at the school.
Dylan’s father Roy, a builder, said the memorial was deeply symbolic.
“I installed this whole structure in memory of my son,” he said.
“It pulls at my heartstrings. Dylan used to love sand and the kids here get so much enjoyment out of this area.
“It is really disappointing to see there are some small-minded, simple people who feel it is fun to do this. They will be bragging to their mates.
“The holes might seem small, but it is quite an expensive fix.
The whole structure will have to be replaced. You can’t patch it. This is taking money away from the kids and the mums and dads who work hard in the P&C.”
Principal Tom Purcell has appealed for anyone with information to contact the school.
“We ask anyone who knows anything or who hears anyone bragging or sees it on social media to contact the school so we can put a stop to this ridiculous and thoughtless vandalism,” he said.
While playground equipment was insured, the policies do not cover shade shelters.
This latest attack followed several last year, including one which destroyed the senior playground and a $10,000 shade shelter that had been installed by the P&C.
In the latest incident, 13 holes were burned in the shade shelter over Dylan’s memorial.
“It will have to be replaced and that money will come from things we want to do with our kids,” Mr Purcell said.
“This sandpit has been a special place for 10 years, from the time we tragically lost young Dylan in 2002.
“He loved the sandpit and so many kids gets so much pleasure out of it. This vandalism hurts everybody and it needs to be stopped.”