Three Teenagers Vandalize High School
Columbia County sheriff's deputies say three Fort White teenagers are responsible for defacing three schools in two days causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Because of their ages, TV20 is not releasing their names. The principal of the high school says he's taking the crimes personally.
"It's disheartening to have a small set of students come in and mess things up," says Principal Keith Hatcher. Hatcher is referring to Monday and Tuesday night's incidents where three kids, two of which were former students, trashed a classroom. In addition to obscene graffiti on the walls, they also flooded the classroom by clogging an eye and hand wash machine.
"Kids need to be thinking more of okay is this right or wrong rather than the chances of getting caught and certainly I'm sure they didn't think they'd get caught."
Hatcher says his school wasn't the only one targeted. The gym at Fort White Elementary, which was recently upgraded, is now ruined.
The minors discharged fire extinguishers inside causing the surface to turn a foggy white.
"The sad thing is our school board works very hard to provide a clean, safe environment for our students to be instructed in and to have this done to the school is a pretty terrible thing for the school at this time," says Columbia County Sergeant Edward Seifert.
Police say the kids entered through an unlocked window. Hatcher believes the students targeted the Agriculture lab because it's in the back of the school. Still, he says , that doesn't give an explanation as to why the students chose to trash the building.
"Who knows what goes through the minds of kids who say you know that are bored and looking just to destroy things."
The three teenagers have been released to their parents. TV20 tried to contact the families but didn't get a response. They face two counts of burglary, one county of criminal mischief and grand left.
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