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Friday, May 6, 2016

School vandalized again

Friday, July 16, 2004

By EVAN WADE

evan.wade@gmail.com

The persons responsible for vandalism of a portable classroom at Meridian Elementary are believed to be behind the destruction of two windows at the same building.

City Police responded to a call from the school Thursday morning. They were advised that a door window and a sliding window had been broken some time Wednesday evening. Police will again step up enforcement around the school in an effort to curb further vandalism.

Earlier this week, police responded to much more damage at the same site. The building, a modular home converted into classrooms on the elementary's playground, sustained thousands of dollars in structural and equipment-related vandalism.

April Lovett, a teacher who taught at the site last year, said the crime cost her at least $500 of her own money. A number of personal items she used to teach her Kindergarten students -- such as a printer, computer speakers, a radio, and 25 Rubbermaid containers -- were destroyed.

"That may be on the low end of it, too," she said. "I collected these things gradually over the years and it's financially impossible to just go out and buy them all back."

Lovett has been teaching for five years. She planned to move into the main building this year, rotating with her students, who will be attending the first grade.

"I'm shocked that it's going to affect the kids," she said. "These were the kids' supplies."

The brunt of the damage occurred to the school's property, however.

Large containers full of sand and rice were strewn about the building, computer monitors and television screens were smashed in, and bookshelves were toppled. Glue was smeared across the walls and two sinks were plugged and left on, causing damage to the building's flooring.

Detective Marty Beasley said he heard rumors of the perpetrators urinating in desks at the crime scene, but there was no solid proof. However, the persons responsible for the damage were likely "not students of the school" due to the physical strength needed to perform some of the actions involved.

Fingerprint taken at the crime scene are being analyzed.

Beasley said he had other information on the crime and the perpetrators, but denied extra comment pending further investigation.

Clay County School Corporation Superintendent Bill Schad said he was surprised at the level of damage caused to the building.

"We're trying to take measures to prevent more vandalism," he said.

"I'm disappointed we're having to do this; it's an extra cost to the taxpayer. If the persons responsible are caught, we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law."

The Brazil City Police ask that anyone with information call them at 446-2211.



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