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Is walking your dog by a public school considered trespassing?

This is a forum to discuss legislation and legal matters pertaining to the rights and welfare of dogs. Please remember to counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice and responses.

  
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Duchess- 7/21/03-1/14- /12 Love U

Sleeping Beauty- needs her beauty- sleep!
 
 
Barked: Wed May 19, '10 9:33am PST 
Wondering if anyone can help? I have a public elementary school right across the street from me. I was walking my dog outside the fence of the perimeter of the school as school is currently in session. I always pick up after my dog. Well, a busdriver for the school comes up and starts screaming at me saying that I'm trespassing. I said I clean up after my dog (she didn't even poop right then either, only peed), she's on a leash and I'm not on the school field. He said that it's irrelevent whether or not I clean up after her. He said there are signs all around saying otherwise. The only sign on my block says to clean up after your dog or you'll be fined which contradicts what he said about trespassing and not walking my dog in that area. I never had a problem before. All the other busdrivers stop and pet her when they see us and never said I was trespassing or couldn't walk her there. There are plenty of people who do walk their dog's or let them run off leash even on the school field when school is in session. One of my coworker's said that if it's a public school, I'm not trespassing. Am I wrong or is he just a miserable person who hates dogs?
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Samson

Work? What's- that?
 
 
Barked: Wed May 19, '10 9:38am PST 
It's a public school. Your property taxes pay for it. They also pay for his salary, something you might want to remind him of next time he acts like that.

You aren't trespassing unless municipal codes say otherwise, and I can't see why they would, especially as you're only walking by the school. Sounds like somebody pooped in the bus driver's Wheaties.

Edited by author Wed May 19, '10 9:39am PST

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Hershey

I'm sticking my- tongue out at- you!
 
 
Barked: Wed May 19, '10 10:08am PST 
Were you ON school property? Even if you were outside the gates, if you were on school property, then yes, you were trespassing.

I'm a teacher and know a lot about school law and the school safety act. Just because you pay school taxes, does not give you the right to just walk on to school property. When school is not in session and all the kids are gone, most schools don't care if people use their playgrounds as a park especially if there is no public park around. But, when school is in session, that's a whole other story. Every since Columbine, schools have had to get very strict with security. If you don't have direct business with the school (ie a child at the school, for example), then you have no business being there.
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Duchess- 7/21/03-1/14- /12 Love U

Sleeping Beauty- needs her beauty- sleep!
 
 
Barked: Wed May 19, '10 10:40am PST 
Yes Hershey, I was outside the fence. I understand your point, but the problem I have is there is no sign stating that on my block, only to clean up after your dog. Why bother putting that sign up at all then if we are not to be walking ANY dogs in that area? Instead, why not post a sign stating no dog walking? Also, no security guards ever said anything to me before, only this busdriver. None of the other busdrivers said anything either.
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Addy, CGC

Let's go for a- walk!
 
 
Barked: Wed May 19, '10 11:11am PST 
If you were outside the fence and the security personnel and the other drivers didn't object, most likely the bus driver that hassled you just doesn't like dogs, or was having a really bad day.

But Hershey is right; you CAN be trespassing on public property, especially school property, because the law limits access to school property for the safety of the kids. And that remains true even if there are no explicit signs.
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Duchess- 7/21/03-1/14- /12 Love U

Sleeping Beauty- needs her beauty- sleep!
 
 
Barked: Wed May 19, '10 11:38am PST 
I just find it odd that I've been living here for 4 years and no one ever said anything before. I don't ever see anyone else being harrassed whether they have a dog or not. I see people jogging on the school track or cutting through the field itself to get to the main road. I just feel like I am being singled out perhaps for other people who don't pick up after their dog.
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Hershey

I'm sticking my- tongue out at- you!
 
 
Barked: Wed May 19, '10 11:49am PST 
That may very well be true, but you asked a legal question. Just because other people have done it and gotten away with it doesn't mean they were in the right. It means they didn't get caught by someone who cared.

You also don't know what directive had come down from above. There have been times when we were lenient about rules and then a directive came down and we had to enforce it. For example, our school has a rule about no backpacks in the classroom. They can be brought into school but must be left in the locker during the school day. Some teachers enforced it, but most didn't. Then, we had a meeting and a directive came down from the top...NO BACKPACKS! Period! We were told to enforce it or we would be in trouble. So, one day....backpacks in the classroom seemed to be ok and the next day, absolutely not! You don't know....maybe they got a directive about people being on school property that weren't there for school business. Maybe there was a security threat that you don't know about.
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Titus

Cave canis- vigilo omnis
 
 
Barked: Wed May 19, '10 12:01pm PST 
Call the school (or the district offices) and ask what the deal is. Such policies may vary from district to district, or even from school to school.
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Mikey

You know you- want to pet me
 
 
Barked: Wed May 19, '10 2:12pm PST 
I find the behavior of the bus driver very, very odd and way over the top. Someone was having a very bad day and you got the brunt of it.

It all depends on how the the property line, so to speak, is spelled out and what the school rule is for the public access.
Was there a sidewalk and were you on it?
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Harlow

st. francis of- asses
 
 
Barked: Wed May 19, '10 2:16pm PST 
Normally a sidewalk is public property, not the schools, that is like a person who has a sidewalk in front of their house saying that you cannot walk on it. At least that is the way it is in the 2 states I have lived in.
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