Parents and teachers were still reeling Tuesday after it was discovered vandals had wreaked havoc Saturday at West Wortham Elementary and Middle School, causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage.
West Wortham Principal Don Cuevas said two of the school’s students used something resembling a crowbar to pry into at least six rooms in the back of the main school building. They caused about $30,000 worth of damage, even urinating in several classrooms and on a printer, he said.
Officials said the students, both 12 years old, damaged 10 to 12 laptop and desktop computers, robotics equipment, desks and other classroom supplies. In their spree, they dumped paint on the floor and walls of the art class, and in one case, smeared cinnamon — being used for an art project — into a computer keyboard.
Officials said fellow students gave multiple teachers and school personnel the names of the two suspected of doing the damage. School Resource Officer Walter Eighmey pulled them out of class Monday.
When confronted, they confessed, Cuevas said.
“They asked me if I’d ever done anything like that at their age,” the principal said. “Like it was some kind of a prank or something.”
School personnel have been working since Sunday to clean up the damage. Tuesday morning, there was little sign of the vandalism other than paint on classroom floors and broken computers.
Both students have been suspended indefinitely and face expulsion by the district’s school board. The school will seek restitution, Cuevas said.
They will face criminal charges in youth court, he said.
Other students, in addition to helping clean up the school, worked with school staff to track down a master key the vandals had taken and dumped into bushes along the main road of the school.
“I’m real proud of the students coming forward and taking pride in their school,” Cuevas said. “I’m not sure this would have happened a couple years ago. The kids really care about the school and feel comfortable with the staff to let them know what’s going on.”