Theft at Walker County elementary school leaves faculty members upset
Police are looking for the person who stole hundreds of dollars in items from a Walker County elementary school over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Nestled in the woods behind Gilbert Elementary School is a place where kindergarten students are encouraged to put away technology and get in tune with nature.
"They're learning empathy for nature and earth,” explained Charity Burnette, Forest Kindergarten Teacher at the elementary school.
There are two forest classrooms where students spend part of their day.
"We do also bring our regular standards out here and practice them,” Burnette said, “Just because there are no walls and no ceiling doesn't mean we can't learn."
But when students visited the classroom Monday, they didn’t see all of their supplies.
"All of the tools they use, their hammers, buckets, and tarps and such, even totes had been taken," Burnette explained.
The principal, Amy Ashley, estimates nearly $600 worth of items were stolen from the two outdoor classrooms and ropes course, including solar panels, ropes, and tools.
She said students were devastated, "These were not items that were monetarily huge, but to the students, priceless."
It's frustrating, but students are learning to improvise despite losing many of those items.
Ashley said some parents, and even strangers, have donated items back to the outdoor classrooms. Anyone who would like to make a donation can take them to Gilbert Elementary School.
According to Lafayette police, the investigation is ongoing. If the person is caught they could face misdemeanor charges.