Archive for Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Vandals strike at elementary school

July 10, 2002

Vandalism occurred in Tonganoxie Elementary School last weekend, but how vandals entered the building remains a question.

Rocks were found inside the building near broken windows on the building's west side. But, assistant principal Tammie George said, it would have been nearly impossible for anyone to enter through those windows because they have Venetian blinds built into them. The blinds were not damaged, and there was no forced entry on any of the school's doors.

"We need to check the alarm system," George said Monday. "It apparently failed in this situation."

Vandalism inside the building, though, was minimal. Chairs were overturned in six classrooms in various locations in the school. Other items crayons, candy and paper towels, were scattered in the rooms.

The only lead police have at this point is that witnesses saw children throwing rocks at the school Sunday.

Tonganoxie police Sgt. John Putthoff said vandalism at the school has been pretty isolated.

"It's not unusual," Putthoff said. "But all schools have that."

George said the school hasn't had many vandalism problems during her eight years at Tonganoxie. Windows have been broken twice, but in one case, it's likely a rock projected from a lawnmower was the cause.

When George was called Monday morning, she thought the damage would be much worse.

"I expected spray paint on the walls," George said. "It was not that kind of damage."

Still, she was disappointed it occurred, especially with the economic crunch schools are facing with the Legislature.

"It's just sad," George said.

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