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Another public school broken into

by Michele Catahay

Guam - While two northern schools have been broken into and vandalized in the last couple of days, more reports are coming in on campus vandalism. Staff at C.L. Taitano Elementary School in Sinajana were shocked on Tuesday to find out that the school's hallways and classrooms were vandalized.

Assistant principal Gloria Barretto says eight classrooms were targeted, explaining, "We went into the classrooms and we found the desks flipped upside down. Teachers' desks were rummaged through. They were left a mess. We had one monitor from a federally funded from the (HATSA) program that was taken. We discovered that several small speakers were taken as well."

The vandals reportedly took what appears to be soap or soda and spilt the liquid all over the floors and on the keyboard and monitors of computers in the classrooms. In addition, the chalkboards and walls were tagged with graffiti. "Some of the markings on the walls, we're working with our village mayors. A lot of them can identify some gang names. I guess I'm not sure what they're called, their titles, but we're thinking that it was done by teenagers or young kids," Barretto added.

With the students on Christmas Break, the Department of Education has been faced with numerous break-ins. Last week, Astumbo Middle School was broken into; then on Monday Okkodo High School suffered extensive damage done by culprits - both schools in the northern village of Dededo.

According to Facilities and Maintenance Manager Billy Cruz, George Washington High School was reportedly broken into over the weekend and another break-in took place at Untalan Middle School just last night. "It was reported that five classrooms were broken in and the main office also. I have yet to receive the final report," he detailed. "We have some of our men there who are doing some repairs and fixing some stuff."

The damages will cost DOE thousands of dollars - money the agency currently doesn't have. "It has cost the department a large amount of money, on top of something of something that we did not budget for. This is for emergencies. So that is going to hurt us toward the end of the fiscal year in meeting our goals and ensuring we keep the standards so the students can continue to use our facilities."

In the meantime, the Guam Police Department's auxiliary officers will be enforcing curfew laws and are asking the public's help in reporting illegal activity. If you have anyone information on any of these case, contact Guam Crimestoppers at 477-HELP (4357).

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