The Palo Alto High School administration is working to repair damage done to multiple buildings after discovering eight shattered windows last Tuesday, according to Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson.
Berkson said he received a call during Spring Break indicating an individual had used a BB gun to shoot at classrooms P6A, P9, P12 and 901, which include science portables and an administrative building. Paly is covering the broken windows with plywood while waiting for the out-of-stock replacements to arrive.
The administration is analyzing the extent of the damage before deciding on a penalty, according to Berkson. The perpetrators, currently unidentified, could face legal consequences and pay upwards of $1000 in damage. Other repercussions may include suspension, a permanent addition to a student’s record that could affect their college eligibility, says Berkson.
The administration may take further legal action, as a BB gun was brought on campus. According to the Paly Student Handbook, weapons, including paint ball and squirt guns, are prohibited on campus and could result in PAUSD expulsion and arrest per the California State Educational Code.
“Having been a teenager at one time, I understand that kids may sometimes do things that are inappropriate,” Berkson said. “Kids should really think about what they are doing before they do it, because the consequences could be a very big deal.”
Other than a decrease in natural lighting, science teacher Elizabeth Brimhall, whose classroom suffered a broken window, does not believe the vandalism is significantly affecting her teaching.
“It’s shocking and I think the students were surprised [at the vandalism]” Brimhall said. “For me, luckily it’s not the only window we have so we have other ways to get light in the room. It [vandalism] has a minor effect except for the fact that it’s a sad thing to have happened.”
Paly is no new victim to vandalism. In February, a student spray painted over one of two James Franco murals with red words, “How do you vandalize garbage?”
Students responded to the most recent vandalism by expressing their disapproval.
“I don’t think that’s okay at all,” junior Aman Mittal said. “Vandalizing the school you learn in is so disrespectful, and we’re blessed to go to a beautiful-looking school like Paly.”