Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Nease Students Call Vandalism 'Stupid' and 'Disrespectful'

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Nease Students Call Vandalism 'Stupid' and 'Disrespectful'

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRISTINA ABEL

Nease High School students were warned this week not to retaliate against other schools after Nease was vandalized, but students seemed more disappointed than angry about the thousands of dollars' worth of damage to their school.

On Thursday, Nease officials reported that their school had been vandalized overnight. Someone spray-painted lockers, brick hallways, floors, windows, metal sculptures and the football stadium. Most of the spray painted messages featured "BTHS" and "bears," leading school officials to believe Bartram Trail High School students could have been involved. But Principal Linda Thomson said that there is no proof that Bartram students are responsible.

As Thomson surveyed the damage on Thursday afternoon, the students seemed to seek explanations, not revenge.

Thomson stopped to talk to a group of boys, all wearing Nease shirts, as they looked at some of the spray-painted messages on the school's brick walls.

"We don't know that Bartram students did this, it could be someone else who wants us to think it was Bartram," Thomson told them. Almost as an afterthought, Thomson said that it also could have been Nease students. The boys said they didn't think it could be Nease students because one of the signs derogatorily referred to former Nease football star Tim Tebow.

"We would never do that; everybody here loves Tebow," one of the boys said.

As other students milled through the school's campus, the most common words describing the damage were "disrespectful" and "stupid." Another student asked Thomson how they would remove the spray paint from the brick walls. Thomson said she didn't know, but she pointed to a metal sculpture that district workers were cleaning with gasoline.

"See, they've already started removing it," Thomson said.

With other students, she simply patted them on the back, issued words of encouragement and told them things would be cleaned up soon.

Sgt. Chuck Mulligan, a spokesman for the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office, estimated the damage at $3,000.

"There was no physical damage to boards or structures. …

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