Cherokee County

Vandals hit therapy playground made for children with special needs

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — Children with special needs became a target after someone spraypainted hate symbols on a specially-made playground.

Kristi Estes and Jennifer Puckett had hoped the good work they're trying to do would be immune to an act of what they term: hatred.

"I was fuming! I was so, so mad. Because we have poured our heart and soul," Puckett said.
They're building a new therapy center in Cherokee County that serves children with special needs.

But over the weekend, somebody armed with a can of spray paint vandalized the playground, marking it with offensive symbols, including swastikas and pentagrams.

“To have this in our environment, an environment where we want to show that these kids and the world we serve are just like everyone else, it's a big sign of hate and makes us very upset,” said Estes said.

Estes and Puckett currently operate a clinic in Canton where they serve 300 patients every week.

They hope to move into the new building by the first of the year. Surveillance cameras are now being installed to watch over the construction site.


They're just grateful the children they help weren't there to see this.

“We are so sensitive to how our patients are represented and how we represent mankind as a whole,” Puckett said. “So when you see things of hate written and symbols that stand for everything we are against, it's infuriating."

The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office has gotten some tips about who did this.