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Salt Lake’s Jackson Elementary working on solving transient problem

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah– The Jackson Elementary School principal says Operation Rio Grande appeared to push some transient and homeless people to her school’s playground at 700 West and 200 North. But new steps are helping make the problem better.


Dr Jana Edward says they were finding used needles, human waste and other trash on the grounds.


“Our custodian goes out in the morning and does sweeps of the playground to make sure everything is safe for the students. And we remind our students you never want to pick up anything off the ground,” she said.


She says there have been a couple of instances of students picking up something from the ground, “but no poking or anything like that,” she said.


Last week they met with the Salt Lake Mayor’s office and police department about concrete next steps to take to make the situation even safer.


“The police have made sure they are increasing patrolling, which has really made a difference,” she said, adding that the patrols happen day and night.

Dr Edward says they met with their state representative, and now the Fairpark Community Council is sending people over to help clean up as well.


They are also working with the Salt Lake School District, and expect a new section of fence to come any day. And then the entire playground and grounds will be secured. Right now they close the gates during the day as well as night.

If someone comes onto school grounds during the day, the custodian or teachers or school resource officer will go out to address it.