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Fence Put Up At Vandergriff Elementary In Fayetteville

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- A new fence now surrounds the playground at Vandergriff Elementary School in Fayetteville. It was built, after a special needs student wandered away from recess and died after being found in a nearby private pool earlier this month.

They started building the fence over the weekend and it's nearly complete.

Superintendent Dr. Matthew Wendt said at a news conference last week that they would built a fence at the school and that it would be complete before students returned from spring break.

“It needed to be done, so of course I’m happy and relieved and also saddened in the fact that it took a death for a fence to be put up…especially when this wasn’t the first case that a child has wandered off from this school,” Rachel Williams said.

Rachel Williams said as a parent she feels like all schools should have a fence around them.

“I feel like the state should make that mandatory, not only for things like this, a child drowned but there is highways by schools…there could be somebody that would be easy to take a child from school when they are playing at recess…there are so many kids,” Williams said.

Heidi Hunnicutt is also glad a fence has been built and thinks having more help during recess may also be a good idea.

“I can’t imagine and I just get choked up thinking about it with you know my daughter and I can’t imagine the pain the parents went through and it’s definitely a good idea. I’m glad they are doing that and hopefully it will prevent anything terrible like this from happening," Hunnicutt said.

The Fayetteville Police Department and the school district continue the investigation of Adron Benton’s death.

The district announced last week that five para professionals remain on paid administrative leave while they investigate.

The Arkansas Department of Education said there is no statute requiring school boundaries and playgrounds to be fenced unless the school has a pre-k program.