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Harassed in PA

I thought this was well known in our state. You don't see folks jogging on the tracks in the evening? Kids utilizing the playgrounds on the weekend? You can even rent the facilities for private use (i.e. Church groups relay races, 4H club events, etc) If you are in Seattle, that is where I was first made aware of this law. I was once heavily involved in Greyhound rescue/rehoming, and we would use the school grounds as turn outs for hounds during transport, or for summer Meet and Greets with hounds up for adoption. Model rocket clubs often use school grounds on the weekends as do many RC park flyers, at least here in my neck of the woods:

Community Use of Public School Facilities - Washington | State Policy Database
For sure, access to the public for many non-school activities is broadly available when school is not in session - of course, playfields are for playing, tracks are for joggers, etc. But there are exceptions (what, you thought when "school's out for summer" anything goes? Not where I live).

I dunno about the libertarian paradise of south King County, but in Seattle, for example, there are broad and explicit bans on a long list of things on school property when school's out, and they're not shy about listing things they don't like. For example:
  • Use or possession of alcohol and tobacco (ironic, in this place where you can see people openly smoking crack and fentanyl on any street corner every day).
  • Use or possession of firearms or weapons.
  • Radio, audio speakers, musical instruments (leave those bagpipes at home, MacDuff!)
  • Open fires, open flames, fireworks, and cigarettes
  • Unmanned aircraft systems (drones)
There's more. See Public Use of Outside School Grounds:
https://www.seattleschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/4200SP.D.pdf
This document is dated 2018 so it's not exactly fresh, but I'd be surprised if things have become any more permissive in the past 5 years (actually, I'd expect the opposite).

Now, I think most of this this is completely silly. Personally, I actually like hearing bagpipes in the distance (at least for a while...I live one block from an elementary school where someone occasionally practices outside). From a practical standpoint, I really doubt the city is going to bust anyone for playing their guitar on the playfield (god knows, they don't have staffing to deal with shootings and other violent crimes, and have long ago given up doing anything about mere auto theft and armed robberies...). I don't think they're prioritizing drone violations.

I've flown my drone there at the local school (discreetly) more than once. I note there are lots of "NO DOGS ON PLAYFIELDS" signs every 20 yards, which are completely ignored every hour of every day by the dozen dog owners I see there every time I visit (and big surprise, there's dog sheet all over the place). When the city cracks down on them (and the people smoking various things) then I'll worry about launching my Mini. But I won't do it without first looking around and finding a discreet spot to fly from. That said, if bothered by an official, I probably would not argue and insist flying drones there was permitted. I'd move along and find someplace less hostile...just me. I guess I'll remember that in a pinch, I can always just hop on 167 and drive south for 20 minutes and find a nice spot there. I think I know a couple of old barns down there...
 
I note there are lots of "NO DOGS ON PLAYFIELDS" signs every 20 yards, which are completely ignored every hour of every day by the dozen dog owners I see there every time I visit (and big surprise, there's dog sheet all over the place).
Very much this. I spent three decades teaching, and the kids learned where the regulars did their business and cleaned it up before games. And the recycling and garbage bins were always overflowing with bags of dog poo on Monday. Not to mention the bags of poo neatly left on the bleachers. Better than the field, but really?

Back in the last millennium when I was a kid, there was a woman who let her pampered poodles take a dump right in the centre of the playing field, where the ref drops the ball for the kick-off. She was told, repeatedly (with lessening politeness), that that wasn't a good place, but she just ignored the annoying brats. Someone got the bright idea of collecting the dog poop and leaving it on her front doorstep. We were removing it anyway and she only lived a couple of blocks away, so not much extra effort for a great increase in satisfaction.

Was it nice? No, but then what kind of person deliberately and repeatedly has their dog crap right in the middle of a childrens' play area?
 
But there are exceptions (what, you thought when "school's out for summer" anything goes? Not where I live).

Doesn't a ban on Bon Fires, Target Practice and Fentanyl go without saying?
I'm doubtful that in today's Seattle we would be welcome to allow a couple of dozen leashed hounds stretch their legs on the school grounds. Our Dogs were never on the playfields. Just like at any city parks - you don't take dogs on the playfields. Well, respectful people don't.
I'm sure the attitude in Seattle is quite different than here in unincorporated King County. We don't have a problem (yet) with homeless people setting up tent cities and meth labs on school grounds.
 
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Was it nice? No, but then what kind of person deliberately and repeatedly has their dog crap right in the middle of a childrens' play area?
Was it mean? No too.

It was, seriously, Justice. And it seems to me appropriate and proportionate.
 
In Seattle? No.

We have a similar situation near me called San Francisco. People who live more than 100mi from SF really don't understand how bad its gotten.

Across the Bay, in Oakland, the NAACP has publicly declared a state of emergency, Oakland is too dangerous to live in.
I'm sitting in my Seattle office (in the heart of the Ballard neighborhood) as I type this, chuckling at how bad many outsiders think Seattle is.
 
I actually had to do this with a neighbor several years ago who allowed her two small dogs to relief themselves every morning in my yard.
A couple of decades ago I had a neighbour who used to let their big dog dump in my front yard at night. Every couple of days a big pile, like the poop emoji. Annoyed me, but I could never catch him at it.

There was also a neighbour's kid who was an angry teenager. F this, F that, my F-ing mother is F-ing nagging me about F-ing school… and so on at great volume in the wee hours of the morning. Usually while standing in/beside my front yard and driveway, because across the street is out of earshot and mind, right? One day he smoked something stronger than usual and the rant got a bit slower and more incoherent as he and his buddy lay on my front grass obscenely complaining about parents and life.

You can probably see where this is going. There was a very flat patch of dog poo on the grass, and the teenager never returned. So I stopped complaining about the dog, because at least it didn't keep waking me up! 💩🤣💩
 
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The way you phrased it sounds almost like you did do it. You should say you've been accused of doing this. If you're not guilty, just be honest with the police, and don't worry about it.
I was being sarcastic ... geez
 
I have a karen and brad neighbor, I live in a small rural subdivision with 1 acre lots, complain about "my drone" on facistbook in the neighborhood group. The specifically pointed me out, without calling my name out directly. Seems someone was flying over her pool and hovering, I would never do that in the first place, and, she makes Lizzo look anorexic. Then her husband drives by while I am cutting the yard the other week and yells at me that he is going to shoot my drone down next time. I was like dude, chill, it wasn't mine, he escalated even more, and I told him to call the sheriff to settle it.
My only drone, an original Mavic Pro has been down and inoperable for a couple of years now due to a hawk that attacked it and it plummeted 70ft to the ground.
I really don't like people these days.
 
I have a karen and brad neighbor, I live in a small rural subdivision with 1 acre lots, complain about "my drone" on facistbook in the neighborhood group. The specifically pointed me out, without calling my name out directly. Seems someone was flying over her pool and hovering, I would never do that in the first place, and, she makes Lizzo look anorexic. Then her husband drives by while I am cutting the yard the other week and yells at me that he is going to shoot my drone down next time. I was like dude, chill, it wasn't mine, he escalated even more, and I told him to call the sheriff to settle it.
My only drone, an original Mavic Pro has been down and inoperable for a couple of years now due to a hawk that attacked it and it plummeted 70ft to the ground.
I really don't like people these days.
I feel for you because even though you are 100% right, it's not easy when you have neighbors that think you are wrong. Whether it was your drone or not, they made it clear they hate drones so when you start flying again, it's going to be a problem. All drones hover. Even when they're moving, they're hovering. That's all people see is hovering drones. On tv and in the movies, all drones hover so you're always going to be told your drone is hovering. No one can be in cruise control for the entire battery, eventually the drone is going to pause. But it's called "hovering" because that's the buzzword to demonize the flight.
 
It happened to me!
My neighbor 4 houses away, had seen me flying in my yard in the past and I knew it annoyed him.

One morning in the driveway with my son doing an oil change, I saw a Mavic 2 hovering over that same neighbors house and driveway, about 40-50ft up.

I flicked my eyebrows up, like I had a crystal ball and went back to helping with oil change.

Neighbor came stomping over looking very pissed, walked right up to us in my driveway, I came out from behind the open hood, he looked at my greasy hands holding tools (not a controller) , we both looked at the drone still hovering, looked back at me with tools in hand, I smugly smiled. He promptly stomped away. 😁
 
I can only go by the op reported. He said:

"It seems I have been hovering at some ones window and even entered their barn with my drone."

Let's just go with that for now. Not my story to tell, I just give advice; take it or leave it.
Sorry I thought I was being obviously sarcastic when I said that but I guess I should be more 'matter of fact' and speak clearly.
 
I have a karen and brad neighbor, I live in a small rural subdivision with 1 acre lots, complain about "my drone" on facistbook in the neighborhood group. The specifically pointed me out, without calling my name out directly. Seems someone was flying over her pool and hovering, I would never do that in the first place, and, she makes Lizzo look anorexic. Then her husband drives by while I am cutting the yard the other week and yells at me that he is going to shoot my drone down next time. I was like dude, chill, it wasn't mine, he escalated even more, and I told him to call the sheriff to settle it.
My only drone, an original Mavic Pro has been down and inoperable for a couple of years now due to a hawk that attacked it and it plummeted 70ft to the ground.
I really don't like people these days.
Sounds very similar to my situation. Since I posted the original thread I actually had another guy pull into my driveway, when I was outside flying, and tell me not to fly over his house. I informed him that I fly legally and when he started escalating I politely ask him to leave my property and phone the police I don't even know most of my neighbors, except for the guy whose house is about 300 feet from mine, because the closest house after that is about a 1/4 mile down the road. The terrain is heavily wooded and hilly and I lose signal strength before I even get close unless I'm 400 feet up. Drones for me are just a hobby. I'm 64 years old, retired and all I want to do is enjoy flying them. I have no desire to spy on or harass anyone however it goes both ways and I expect to be left alone especially when I am flying out of my own property. I absolutely will not give it up because some idiots live nearby.
 
Then her husband drives by while I am cutting the yard the other week and yells at me that he is going to shoot my drone down next time.
Tell him to go ahead, since it's obviously not your drone. I live in the Philippines, and never have any problem, except maybe from foreigners. It's interesting how different cultures are. The people here just do a friendly wave to me.
Another suggestion I would have for those having these problem, is stay very high until you're way away from your house. Then they will have no idea where the drone came from.
 
I thought this was interesting to post since obviously it doesn't seem to work both ways. If you fly a drone up to within 10 feet of the window and hover and you point the camera inside, it's a crime if you trying to invade the privacy of the building's apartment whether the blinds or closed or not. However, it's ironic if the occupant opens the blinds for everyone/everything from 10 feet to 500 feet away to look inside the apartment, like a "reverse peek" then there is no crime. He's inside the privacy of his home looking out vs. you're out in public looking in. Something seems wrong here, why don't we have an inverse to the peeping tom law applicable here? Why does intent not seem to matter for the drone pilot (you will likely be arrested whether you intend to "peek" or not) vs. intent does not matter for the apartment dwellers (he will not be arrested even if he intends to expose himself to the public). Why are drone pilots held to a higher standard? They create new laws to cover drones but they can't cover this?

 
@mavic3usa, the difference comes down to the concept of, "reasonable expectation of privacy". A person in their home is recognized by our culture and society to have a rather comprehensive such expectation. So this is reflected in the law.

Concomitantly, we (majority) do not believe a person in public places has any such reasonable expectation at all. This too is reflected in the law.

And to head off the "define reasonable" objection, I don't have to. That's what judges and juries do. The law is rife with ambiguity, subjectivity, and outright conflicting requirements. Naturally so, as human interactions are similarly encumbered. It doesn't invalidate the issue, or legislators attempt to address it. It's just harder than something completely objective, like a speed limit. The system we have is the best we've come up with so far to manage it.

Speaking for myself, it really doesn't matter if your face is right behind a camera 12" from window, on a long pole going over a fence where you're controlling it, or a mile away in front of a screen with the camera carried by a drone. It's all an invasion of my privacy.

I suspect the vast majority of fellow citizens share my POV precisely. And I suspect most drone pilots too.
 
@mavic3usa, the difference comes down to the concept of, "reasonable expectation of privacy". A person in their home is recognized by our culture and society to have a rather comprehensive such expectation. So this is reflected in the law.

Concomitantly, we (majority) do not believe a person in public places has any such reasonable expectation at all. This too is reflected in the law.

And to head off the "define reasonable" objection, I don't have to. That's what judges and juries do. The law is rife with ambiguity, subjectivity, and outright conflicting requirements. Naturally so, as human interactions are similarly encumbered. It doesn't invalidate the issue, or legislators attempt to address it. It's just harder than something completely objective, like a speed limit. The system we have is the best we've come up with so far to manage it.

Speaking for myself, it really doesn't matter if your face is right behind a camera 12" from window, on a long pole going over a fence where you're controlling it, or a mile away in front of a screen with the camera carried by a drone. It's all an invasion of my privacy.

I suspect the vast majority of fellow citizens share my POV precisely. And I suspect most drone pilots too.
Well, if you factor in the intent (which is often conveniently left out when it comes to drone), to me that is important and makes a difference:

 
Got it. Intent makes a difference to you. I respect that.

Please respect the fact that it doesn't to me. I don't care how virtuous the intent of someone invading my privacy. They may see something I don't want them to see... like my daughter naked.

When intruding upon space that someone expects is private, you have no idea what you may violate. When this happens, the intent of the violator means very little.

I suspect most people feel this way. Which is reflected in the law.

Drones are a new way to violate people's privacy. The law is catching up. Notably, this consists entirely of closing the "loophole" of a person not being physically present in order to be a violation, rather than the law being clarified to require the physical presence of a person, exempting remote camera operations.

Decide for yourself how that is interpreted vis a vis the general public's view on "reasonable expectation of privacy".
 
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