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Azusa's Gladstone Elementary vandalized

November 12, 2009 12:35:49 AM PST
Students returned from the Veterans Day holiday to a vandalized school. It happened at Gladstone Street Elementary School in Azusa. Vandals hit the campus and destroyed a classroom. A smashed television, destroyed computers, paint smeared on desk after desk, more paint poured on the carpet of a third-grade classroom at Gladstone Elementary in Azusa.

"First I thought it was a dream or a nightmare," said Gladstone teacher Don Hanawalt. "It didn't -- it took me a little while to figure out what had happened and then I didn't know what to do, so I just went up and started talking to the principal."

"This classroom was totally trashed," said Kathleen Miller, Azusa Unified School District spokesperson. "Paint was splattered all over, items were destroyed, a television was just shattered. We believe it probably happened some time between Tuesday night and early this morning. Yesterday was a holiday and our school was closed."

School officials say this classroom was the only one vandalized on campus. They say in other areas of school several classroom doors were smeared with graffiti.

"Mine seems to be the only classroom that did get targeted," said Hanawalt. "Well, I left on Tuesday because we had yesterday off, and I left on Tuesday. When I left the door was locked but I don't know, I don't know anything about what happened after that. When I came this morning it was locked."

"It'll cost thousands of dollars to replace these items, to repaint the school, doors, and this classroom and everything else that was destroyed," said Miller.

School officials say this is just absolutely senseless. They don't know who did it but they want to find out.

"At this point we have no idea who committed this act," said Miller. "Police are investigating now and we're letting our parents know, so if anybody has any information we'd appreciate that they would let the district know."

"What my students were saying was they said they must, the people who did it must not like kids. One student said maybe they don't like school," said Hanawalt.

For now Hanawalt's third-grade students have been transferred to another classroom until the mess is cleaned up.


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