Vandals ransack Dededo school overnight - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Vandals ransack Dededo school overnight

by Michele Catahay

Guam - Students and teachers at Wettengel Elementary School in Dededo were disheartened when they went to school this morning, only to find out that classrooms have been vandalized overnight. According to Assistant Principal Johansen Punongbayan, police officers were called to the scene today.

"Six classrooms were vandalized, but one of the classrooms was the one what was the worst," Punongbayan explained. "I guess to put everything together, they spray painted the classrooms, they took the fire extinguisher and sprayed it all over, and took everything and kind of messed up the classroom."

Within the last week, vandals have been making their marks at several public schools. Twice this weekend, they hit up Okkodo High School where they made their way to the automotive classrooms and the Student Store. Administrator Jess San Nicolas told KUAM News, "If it weren't for the quick response of the Guam Police Department, the school may have suffered from more damages."

Guam Community College carpentry teacher Dave Santos says the culprits managed to walk away with some tools valued at about $2,000, saying, "They took chipping guns, rotary drills, skill saws and a lot of these tools, the kids use to train. And without these tools, it's actually hard for the kids to actually get the training for construction."

At the interim JFK High campus at Tiyan, the school is looking to pick up the pieces. Last Friday, about 16 classrooms where hit. Assistant principal Bobbi Roberto says they stole a projector, but the locks were completely damaged. She says cause for concern is that the campus has been hit numerous time since the school year began.

"Since we moved in," she detailed, "we had a series of break-ins. Last year, we had several multimedia projectors stolen and laptops. This year, it's more of just breaking in and rummaging through the teachers' property or even going through documents and everything. But not taking anything, really."

In the meantime, the Department of Education is hoping to use stimulus grant monies to cover the cost for security. For now, according to acting superintendent Arlene Unpingo, they're ironing out the details to implement a school watch program in each village.

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