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Vandals strike elementary school

By Katy Murphy
Wednesday, February 4th, 2009 at 10:04 am in buildings, crime, elementary schools.

UPDATE: OASES, an organization that works with Lincoln Elementary, is coordinating volunteer efforts. Those interested in lending a hand or donating replacement materials may contact Nhi Chau at nhi@oases.org, or at 510.891.9928 ext. 10. I’ve attached the school’s wish list here.

Imagine arriving at your classroom one morning and seeing this.

Two portable classrooms and the teacher’s lounge were badly vandalized over the weekend at Lincoln Elementary School, a California Distinguished School in Oakland’s Chinatown. Little was stolen aside from a TV set and some emergency food supplies, said Nhi Chau, a program coordinator with Oakland Asian Students Educational Services (OASES).

“They splattered paint all over the classrooms. Everything went upside down,” she said.

Chau said teachers were putting together a list of supplies and other things they’ll need to recover from the destruction. I’ll post an update later today.

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  • Jack London Rez

    What kind of vile, rotten jerks do something like this? This is awful and I hope none of the kids had to see it. Will you post the wish list and/or details for clean-up volunteering, if they still need some?

  • Katy Murphy

    I sure will, as soon as I get it.

  • Patrick

    I consider myself a fairly liberal person. But when I see something like this, all thoughts of constitutional rights and fits-the-crime punishment go out the window. A school! I truly cannot imagine what sort of awful, twisted combination of nature and nurture led to this despicable act.

    I too look forward to the Wish List and volunteering details. Disgusting!

  • Nextset

    I see this and wonder why this doesn’t happen to Washington Mutual, or a local shop, but it does happen to a school.

    Is there a factor of the schools possibly not having alarm systems in place? The commercial buildings all have alarms and some of them now have camera systems.

    In terms of the motivation – I can see disordered adolescents vandalizing their own school out of frustration – but this is a primary school. Did pre-pubescents do this?

    If any school building isn’t protected by silent or audible alarms I think we have a problem with the authorities not protecting their real estate. Katy: Do you have more info?

    Patrick: As far as crime and punishment, you have to understand – our criminal justice system no longer punishes much of anything. Criminals make little distinction between time in and time out. They are only marking time until their eventual (premature) deaths. They really don’t value their own lives and just exist rather than life life. If you want punishment, look at Asia’s Criminal Justice system.

    Here the premium is on the would-be victims not to allow themselves to become victims. Some victims are more equal than others.

  • Mr. G

    I can’t say this surprises me. I have heard of several middle school students getting jumped in Lincoln Park by older kids in the last couple of weeks.

    If you let punks hang around a school harassing kids, this is what happens.

    I hear the new principal at Lincoln has been doing a great job keeping his kids safe. Between an attempted kidnapping earlier in the year and this act of vandalism, he’s had his hands full. It’s too bad he isn’t getting more support from OPD.

  • Snoop Dogg

    I think this can be a learning opportunity for all. I hope the vandals get caught and are made an example to all they affected. public apology, clean up, their families pay for damages.

    If they don’t caught…well then I hope the community gets involved and get the people who did it and do what they need to do.

  • Nextset

    Snoop Dog: Only a fool or a dreamer believes this criminal justice system provides a remedy or solution for crime in this state. The only way to win the crime victim game is not to be one – or to have very generous insurance. That is how you run a business (or your life), you arrange things to not be a victim.

    Businesses such as See’s Candies manage their loss exposure by limiting where they will operate a store, setting up physical security (locks, doors, etc) and alarms, and insuring. Insurance rates are of course tied to location, existance of alarms and other such rating factors.

    School security involves placement, physical plant security provisions, and some form of insurance.

    So does OUSD alarm all their premises? Among other things that is supposed to deny criminals quiet time within which to do so much damage. Cameras have become relatively cheap. Camera systems now transmit images over the internet to the alarm central station so there is real time observation of intruders. How is insurance handled – is OUSD self insured?

    The “community” is not going to get involved with anything other than their own day to day survival. Running the schools is OUSD’s business and that includes school security. They are expected to take care of their own business.

  • Ms. J.

    Hey,
    Thanks for posting, Katy, but I’m kind of surprised if this is the first such incident you’ve heard of. Maybe it’s just because Lincoln is a California Distinguished School (for whatever that’s worth)that this is getting attention. Both Oakland schools where I taught were vandalized repeatedly and terribly while I was there. In my first year teaching my portable was ransacked and trashed not once but twice. It was awful, demoralizing, infuriating, etc etc. But my students and I were not the only ones to have this happen to us. It’s outrageous but it’s pretty common I think.

  • Katy Murphy

    Yes, I’ve blogged about these events before — arson fire at Sobrante Park, break-ins at various schools and at the central office.

    I still think these incidents should see the light of day.

  • ex-Oakland staff

    Nextset – OUSD is self insured. Many schools are alarmed. Some schools have cameras.

  • Nextset

    Katy: Do the Oakland-area private schools get vandalized also? Is there any difference in their security tactics, or those of Piedmont Unified, with OUSD school property security??

    Is the vandalism we speak of here just what goes with the territory, or is there some higher incidence here at OUSD? What if anything could the district do to cut the losses without spending too much money?

  • Katy Murphy

    Good questions. I don’t know, but I’ll see what I can find out.