Vandals cause damage at AHS

Published 11:59 pm Friday, January 9, 2009

During the last week, vandals caused damage and other mischief at Andalusia High School on two separate occasions, drawing the ire of school administrators and local law enforcement.

Thur-sday night, the vandals broke into the school’s annex and caused damage to several classrooms. And Monday, when teachers returned from the winter break to get things ready for the start of school, they discovered that the school busses had been vandalized.

“I have been here for three years and we’d had nothing like this,” Andalusia City Schools superintendent Dr. Beverly McAnulty said. “And now this week we’ve had two cases of terrible vandalism.”

McAnulty said the vandals broke into the classroom annex Thursday night and broke several windows, dumped items from teachers’ desks onto the floor and poured a soft drink into one of the building’s computers. She said the mischief-makers broke into the busses earlier in the week and set off fire extinguishers inside the vehicles. They also broke radios and the busses’ warning stop signs.

“It doesn’t seem like much was stolen,” she said. “It was just a big nuisance.”

McAnulty said the damage is costly to the school system, which is already strapped for funds due to proration. She estimates that the damage caused by setting off the fire extinguishers alone was around $500.

“It tied up three people Monday just cleaning it all up,” she said. “It’s disrupted classes (Friday) and could have disrupted our transportation, if we hadn’t had that extra day (Monday) to get things cleaned up before the kids came back.”

Andalusia Police Chief Wilbur Williams said the case is being classified as a burglary, because there was forceable entry into the building. He added that the department is in the process of identifying two suspects in the vandalism case.

“Anytime it involves damage to public property, that belongs to the taxpayer and we’ll take a very long look at it,” Williams said. “We will go to every effort possible to identify the two suspects, and when we do identify them, they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Williams said Sgt. Tim Stallworth is handling the investigation and is being assisted by Officer Jackie Woods, the school’s resource officer.