Vandals target RC school

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 17, No. 3            January 18, 2007

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Classes are still in session despite the drawbacks of a vandalized classroom.

From broken windows to painted blackboards, the vandalism brings great sadness.

After much hard work and dedication put to construct new classrooms and acquire space for the San Pedro Roman Catholic School, idle minds took it upon themselves to vandalize the school property. Accordingly, a string of break-ins and acts of vandalism have been occurring during and after the Christmas holidays at the school. The faculty decided to speak out and deal with the situation through this medium in hopes that the perpetrators are caught. The Sun paid a visit to the school and spoke with Principal Roxana Kay, who commented, “It is very disturbing to know that people would target a school for the little we have. Instead of us moving two steps forward we are drawn back a step. We have been working so hard to get our equipment and materials and for it to just disappear is really disturbing. These acts are maliciously planned by several individuals and this needs to be addressed with the community and authority figures to try and put a stop to it.”

    In several instances both in broad daylight and in the dark of night, vandals broke into the school’s campus and managed to break in the office and several classrooms. The thief or thieves apparently were looking for something as they made a mess in the principals office throwing most books and other school supplies on the floor. To make things worse, the newly built classrooms that the Calendar Girls worked so hard for had also been a target and was vandalized. On Monday when the children arrived at the classrooms they discovered broken windows and several paint messes on the blackboard and floors. As for the motive? Principal Kay explains her theory and states that she suspects it could be anyone. But is saddened by the fact that they would take away from the children and the school in a whole. Apparently , the perpetrators got in the campus by jumping over the fence and destroyed the locks and doors so as to gain access. These brazen individuals even left some evidence behind which suggests that it can be anyone because of the cigarette butts they left behind. The police have carried an investigation into this matter and are asking the public for assistance to detain these persons. Anyone seeing suspicious activity in the general vicinity, or if anyone has a tip that can direct the police to their lead is asked to call at the police station.

    Principal Kay ended by advising the public that under the neighborhoods watchful eye, eventually these persons will be caught. As the saying goes, “what is done in dark corners will eventually come to light.” Kay also requested that at no time should anyone not affiliated with the school enter the school campus during and after school hours. Anyone going contrary to this request will be prosecuted and dealt with accordingly. Also, as a note to the school children, “students who willfully and maliciously destroy school property through vandalism or arson, or who create a hazard to the safety of other people on school property, shall be referred to law enforcement authorities. Students who vandalize school property may be suspended and/or expelled as provided in the school’s policy.”

    The “break ins” have been occurring since the Christmas holidays up until last Sunday and the thieves made off with school supplies, sports equipment, a Skilsaw, and a Public Audio (PA) system, among other things. Anyone with information on these crimes is asked to call the police station at 226-2022 or Principal Kay at 624-2404. Police are still investigating the case.
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