Archive for Friday, October 19, 2007

Vandals hit Free State High before game

October 19, 2007


Vandals strike Free State High School

Free State and Lawrence High play their annual city showdown football game Friday night, and the week before the game has traditionally been a time for pranks. Enlarge video

A custodial worker scrubs paint off the north side of Free State High School on Thursday morning.

A custodial worker scrubs paint off the north side of Free State High School on Thursday morning.

School district custodial staff worked through Thursday's early morning hours to clean off spray paint on windows, bricks and the Firebird sculpture at Free State High School.

Later, administrators announced that seven Lawrence High School students were suspended after an investigation by school officials and police.

The red paint that spelled "LHS" sprayed onto the building and the vehicles of two staff members came less than 48 hours before tonight's intracity rivalry football game at Haskell Stadium.

Free State administrators Thursday morning made an announcement that included an apology from the LHS administration and encouraged students not to retaliate.

"We've got two good high schools, and so often what happens is a few people cause distress," Free State Principal Joe Snyder said.

According to a report, police were called at 11 p.m. Wednesday to the school at 4700 Overland Drive. Brick walls and windows were damaged at a cost of $5,000, and two vehicles each sustained $1,000 worth of damage.

Some Free State students said it is fun to have a friendly rivalry, but they didn't approve of the damage.

"I think that might be taking it a tad too far," said Clara Groene, a Free State senior and student council treasurer.

LHS Associate Principal Matt Brungardt said the schools worked together with police to investigate the situation.

"Vandalism has nothing to do with the spirit of any rivalry," he said. "It's not a prank; it's nothing like that. That's criminal damage."

Rick Gammill, the district's special operations director, said the seven LHS students were suspended and released to their parents. Kim Murphree, a Lawrence police spokeswoman, said officers would forward the investigation to District Attorney Charles Branson's office, where a decision on whether to file charges would be made.

The week of last year's football game, three LHS seniors were suspended for breaking into Free State and stealing two state championship banners, which were later returned. In December, the day of an intracity basketball game, two roosters were spray-painted green and chained to trees outside Free State.

LHS Principal Steve Nilhas said this week's incident seemed to be more significant, and he called it "a few people making bad decisions."

"We dealt with it, and certainly shared with Free State our disgust and disappointment over the event and just need to make clear that this isn't a part of what we want to be doing," Nilhas said.


Tristan Moody 10 years, 8 months ago

Technically, the roosters were a felony.....

I don't understand why people do that crap in the first place.

Tychoman 10 years, 8 months ago

According to that last bottom photo, LHS students didn't do it. Superman and the Green Lantern were the vandals.

Confrontation 10 years, 8 months ago

Sounds like some ignorant teens who should be punished. Let them sit in the slammer for a few days with mom and pop. There's a difference between friendly pranks and expensive destruction of property.

somebody785 10 years, 8 months ago

everyone needs to quit crying around it was a prank......

booze_buds_03 10 years, 8 months ago

somebody785-Would you be saying the samee thing if it was your car that was spray painted and had windows broken.?

I dont think anything that causes in excess of $5000 is a prank.

coastiej 10 years, 8 months ago

Somebody785 is probably a 17 year old kid who doesn't have a care or a bill in the world. If he/she had to pay to repair his/her own vehicle I bet it wouldn't be just a prank.

Veritas 10 years, 8 months ago

It always seemed to me that the rivalry was one-sided...and there is a HUGE difference between a prank and vandalism. I do recall LFSHS snagging LHS's "Welcome to the Jungle" banner one year and opening it up on their side of the stadium...but it was never harmed, defaced, vandalized...etc. I noticed there were a lot of "good sports" at one school and "bad sports" at the other...

somebody785 10 years, 8 months ago

well Coastiej its not like it your problem so why do you care its not like you have to do anything for it....and you know what im not a 17 year old kid im a grown man so don't be saying that

Veritas 10 years, 8 months ago

I love that LHS loves this song. I wonder why they didn't make a banner with some of the other lyrics on it? Like...perhaps..."Feel my, my, my serpentine I, I wanna hear you scream."

sourpuss 10 years, 8 months ago

Perhaps it wasn't LHSers at all. I mean, would they really be stupid enough to spraypaint their OWN school name on Free State? Perhaps it was just some Free Staters wanting to get press and sympathy.

Flap Doodle 10 years, 8 months ago

You think Vandals are bad? Just wait until the Visigoths and Ostrogoths show up.

i_have_only_valid_opinions 10 years, 8 months ago

That would be clever...but they do know it was LHS students since they suspended 7 of them.

When I was in high school, our rival mascot was a mustang and the night before our rival (their homecoming) game some people spray painted a big dong on the mustang at center field. But, that was nothing a lawn mower and 5 minutes of someones time couldn't remove. It was long gone before game time. The graffiti and broken windows done by the LHS students is outright vandalism and they should be punished. Despite what the brilliant philosopher "somebody785" thinks.

JazzEgle 10 years, 8 months ago

For years I've told that Free State has the more mature student body. I guess it's true.

ranger73 10 years, 8 months ago

What ever happened to the good old days of t-p-ing the place? Too many tree hugger kids nowdays? The roosters were pretty original. Spray painting buildings goes a little too far. At least the tp is biodegradeable.

123smilie 10 years, 8 months ago

technically, vandalism is a felony as well.

why the heck would we spray paint our own school?

the whole rivalry thing is kind of funny, but it seems like LHS goes too far.

btw, did anyone else hear what the fshs fans were yelling at the game? they were yelling, "vandalise this"... :)

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