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Vandals strike in Coupeville

Coupeville School District officials are figuring out the amount of damage stemming from a Friday evening incident in which someone vandalized Coupeville Middle School and High School.

Between Friday evening and Saturday morning, vandals spray painted gold and pink paint on the buildings at the secondary school campus, said Bill Myhr, superintendent of the Coupeville School District.

The vandals painted obscenities, gang slogans and references to 4/20, which, among other things, refers to Hitler’s birthday and the date of the Columbine shootings, Myhr said. Some of the writings also referred to Oak Harbor High School.

Myhr wouldn’t speculate on why there were references to OHHS, but school officials are forwarding information about the incident to Oak Harbor.

Employees were brought in over the weekend to fix the damage.

“We’ve already cleaned it up and we’re moving on,” Myhr said.

The vandals also smashed pumpkins, overturned trash cans, destroyed a sign and damaged the handicap-access pads entering into buildings. Myhr said that obscenities were etched into six windows at the middle school. Myhr didn’t yet have an estimate on replacement costs for the damaged windows.

School officials are looking at steps to prevent such incidents in the future.

One possible solution is the installation of security cameras at the middle school and high school.

Approximately one dozen cameras will be placed throughout the middle school and high school. The cameras are expected to cost the school district nearly $38,000 for purchase and installation and an additional $4,000 a year in service and maintenance.

Myhr said the cameras could be moved over to the new high school when it’s built. At that time, officials will look at placing cameras at Coupeville Elementary School.

In addition to the cameras, officials are considering putting a sealant on school buildings that make it easier for workers to remove spray paint.

The weekend incident marks the fifth incident of vandalism or theft in Coupeville schools since the summer.

Coupeville Marshal Lenny Marlborough said arrests have been made in the two prior instances of vandalism.

One notable incident occurred the weekend before school started. That’s when someone broke into Coupeville High School and stole several thousand dollars in cash.

Marlborough said he hasn’t made any arrests in the burglary cases but marshals are interviewing people.

Myhr said there is a $50 reward for anyone who has any information leading to the arrest of the people responsible for the vandalism that took place over the weekend.

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