Can the local police require me to stay off school playground equipment when no children are in school?

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Can the local police require me to stay off school playground equipment when no children are in school?

The warning is for “defiant trespass.” I was on the playground, as I have done for years, to exercise using the paralell bars, and other gymnastic equipment there. It was during daylight hours (6:30 pm). No children were present or using the equipment. I went later to clarify what it was exactly I was required to do. A different officer told me to “stay off of all school property” and to “stay away from children.” I been a member for 19 years of a local YWCA swimming program and a township recreation pool swimming program. I’ve never had any sexual contact with minors.

Asked on November 26, 2011 under Criminal Law, New Jersey

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you were using school property after school hours in a manner that was not improper and there were no signs prohibiting your usage of public property, I see nothing wrong with your use of the playground equipment even though you are an adult.

The reason is that assuming the school whose equipment that you used after hours is a public school, you and other members in the community pay for the public school system through the assessment of property taxes.

I would write the police department about the warning that you received asking for more clarification as to it as well as stating your position.


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