MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Proudly displayed poop posters lining Emerson Elementary are getting plenty of second glances from people in the Loring Park neighborhood of Minneapolis. But after three occasions this year of students at the Spanish immersion school stepping in dog poop as they get on the bus, art teacher Mina Leierwood isn't laughing anymore.
"If you have ever tried to scrape [dog poop] off your feet you know how extremely irritating it is," says Leierwood "Not only that, it sets off the entire bus. So it's not just one person, it's like 20 kids screaming and crying and freaking out. It's kind of magnified when you are dealing with elementary school kids."
Leierwood started raking the boulevard daily and decided it was time to help a second grade class get their sad, mad and sometimes thankful feelings out through a colorful art project involving poop emojis.
"They felt it was important to get the message across. So they are learning how to solve problems, and how to communicate, and how to be good community members," Leierwood said.
In the densely populated area, Leierwood says the poo problem has increased in recent years, pointing to the high rise across the street.
"I think there are more dogs than people, " says Bob Dyer.
Dyer and his beagle live in the building across the street and say there are doggy bags available inside for everyone, plus more bags and disposal just across the street.
"If I see someone not picking up I tell them, but that's very rare," says Dyre.
Still, students have witnessed their school become a waste land too many times.
"Some people have taken their little dogs and put them up on the grassy area and let them poop there. So then the kids are watching it from the lunch room and they said it was really nauseating," Leierwood said. "Their spelling isn't perfect, but they are sounding things out and trying to get the message across.. and I hope that the neighborhood listens.