Would cameras have kept vandals from flooding Vt. school?
DUXBURY, Vt. -
The Moretown General Store is a common hang out spot for some Harwood Union high schoolers.
These kids aren't on break; they're being kept off school property because vandals flooded the school.
"It's kind of discouraging that people would throw away their futures just to be punks," said Cory Dalsimer, a freshman.
Early Tuesday morning, officials say one or more vandals entered the school in Duxbury and duct taped all the floor drains, sink drains and most of the water fountain drains. Officials say after, a number of flow valves were taken off toilets and damaged, sending water throughout the school. Faculty members estimated 8,000-9,000 gallons of water flooded the school.
"I think our students by and large at Harwood are very passionate about their school. They're very dedicated to their school and this feels like a violation that I would feel is violation in a family," said Brigid Scheffert, superintendent of the Washington West Supervisory Union.
Scheffert says just this year, four acts of vandalism have occurred in the area including the school, as well as two break-ins. But she believes surveillance camera installment could be a helpful tool to catch criminals.
"As we saw in the Boston marathon and even more horrific circumstances people were able to be apprehended by using that tool," Scheffert said.
But not everyone is in favor of the idea. At multiple meetings in the Harwood community Scheffert says the public has come out against surveillance cameras. Some parents think it's a breach of privacy and are not comfortable with them. Scheffert says there are only cameras at the south end of the high school facing the buses outside. Besides that, she says the school needs more monitoring.
"At the point you have one of these unfortunate events it's very hard to collect evidence and move forward without cameras of some sort," Scheffert said.
And some students agree.
"If this happened and this could just be the beginning, I'd rather be safe than sorry," said Nina Sklar, a freshman.
"We wouldn't think this would happen in a small town. You see this happen in cities, but in such a small town you wouldn't expect it. But now this just shows what can happen next. There should be cameras everywhere," said Bridget Dow, a junior.
Police have no suspects yet and there's no estimate yet on the damage.
Students are scheduled to return to school Friday. There will be a meeting May 15 to decide if students will have to make up these two days in June before graduation.