A group of parents attended a South Merrick Community Civic Association meeting this week and expressed their concerns on drug paraphernalia that was found on the grounds of Lakeside Elementary School.
Parents said that needles, glass and beer cans have been found on the school's property and demanded that more security measures such as better lighting, enhanced security cameras,increased signage and the locking of the school's gates at night be put into place.
They said that young teens gather on the school grounds after hours, leaving behind the items.
Karen Menahem's daughter is a first-grader at the Lakeside School.
"The fact that my child can pick up a bottle or a needle is totally unacceptable," she said. "We pay too much in school taxes."
Dr. Dominick Palma, superintendent of Merrick Schools, said that items were found on school grounds in early September, but there have been no more incidents since police have been involved.
"Officers drive around the school two or three times a night and a couple times through the weekend," he said.
At the meeting, Palma said that he would lock the gates of the school moving forward.
Parents, however, were angry and said that enough was not being done to protect their children.
Jodi Turk, a mother of three children at Lakeside and creator of the Facebook group, Merrick Moms, said that she along with many parents presented the Board of Education with a petition with 1,000 signatures, demanding security at the school.
"That was in January and we were shut down," Turk said. "This is not a new problem at Lakeside. Kids have been cut by glass and the civic association has been talking to the school board about this for many years."
Joe Baker, president of the South Merrick Community Civic Association, said that he lived in Merrick for more than 60 years and that he went to the Lakeside School.
"Things have changed a lot since I went there," he said. "We can't have drugs come into our community. We can't have our children being subjected to drugs dealers."