Herald Editorial: Thoughtless
An overnight vandalism at Wetmore Academic Center has resulted in extensive damage that halted enrollment and might even push back the first day of school.
The Nemaha County Sheriff reports that the vandal or vandals entered WAC between 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2, and 7 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 3, causing various damage through the school building, as well as to the ball field concession stand.
This is the second strike on a USD No. 113 building in four months. We saw Sabetha High School vandalized in April, and now Wetmore.
After the April vandalism, the Board of Education had a short discussion regarding whether the district should explore installing some sort of security system at the school buildings. At that time, the board members indicated they did not think it was something the district should explore.
Now, with a second building vandalized in the middle of the night, we are hopeful that the board will reconsider. Although surveillance cameras might not have prevented the vandalism, it could have acted as a deterrent. Cameras — whether live or still shot — are helpful to law enforcement when searching for those responsible.
We, like the board members, were hopeful that something like this just would not happen again. The actions of these vandals leave us shaking our heads, wondering out loud, “How could they be so thoughtless?”
Throughout the summer, the custodial staff at Wetmore has worked tirelessly to prepare the hallways and common areas, as well as each classroom, for the 2017-18 school year. This includes cleaning top to bottom, including floors, walls, ceilings and all furnishings, as well as special maintenance jobs such as painting.
Many teachers might have already been in their classrooms — planning, organizing and decorating to make the beginning of the school year smooth and to create a nice space to encourage student learning.
Unfortunately, they saw all of their hard work destroyed in a single night. How devastating would that have been?
Now, completion of enrollment at Wetmore has been rescheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 10, but USD No. 113 Superintendent Todd Evans is unsure whether those students will be able to start school on time. The district has had to hire a special crew to repair and clean up much of the damage.
Those responsible should be ashamed of themselves. Destroying the work and property of others is not a means of entertainment. It is not funny. It is not warranted. What it is, however, is disgraceful.
Unfortunately, that disgrace is not limited to those few who decide to thoughtlessly destroy the hard work and property of others. We live in small, tight-knit communities. Your success is our success, and your disgrace is our disgrace. Whether true or not, your actions cast a reflection on the whole.
Those responsible for this and the April vandalism clearly were not thinking about the reflection their actions would have on their local schools, district and community as a whole.
The Sabetha Herald Staff