Children at Appleby School were left shocked recently after an anti-littering sign, which was designed by students and made by Tasman District Council, was senselessly vandalised with a power tool, causing great distress to all concerned. “The children came up with the idea for the sign after they kept discovering people were littering the river with everything including tyres, cans, plastic and glass,” says Andrew Mason, a teacher at the school.

After doing several litter clean-ups along the river, the children contacted the council about putting a sign up to remind people to take their litter home with them. “The council suggested the kids design the sign, which they then had professionally made and secured to a metal plate, so it was pretty indestructible,” says Andrew.

However, in a mindless act of vandalism, just a few months after the sign was erected, someone has used a power tool and deliberately cut a hole right through the middle, leaving a square hole of around 22cm. “The pupils were really upset, angry and disappointed,” says Andrew. “They were doing something good for the community and feel that this goes against everything they stand for.”

Not to be defeated, the pupils are rallying around to raise funds for a replacement sign to be put in place. “We are not giving up on our river,” says pupil James Mollett. “We’ve started a Give a Little page to try to raise the $400 needed for a new sign.”

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