Photo by: Michael Reeves
Vandalism at Bowie
At 5:57 A.M., on Thursday Dec. 13, AISD was notified that there had been extensive vandalism done to Bowie High School overnight. Parents were notified early Thursday morning, Dec. 13, by email that there would be a two-hour delay to classes on campus. About an hour later, they were notified that classes were canceled.
AISD police are investigating the situation as a crime. According to Bowie administrators, there was ‘considerable damage done.’ The damage includes broken windows, as AISD spokesperson Cristina Nguyen told KXAN.
The damage was extensive enough that school has been cancelled for Friday, Dec. 14 as well.
“It makes me nervous to know that my school can be an unsafe place when it should be somewhere comfortable for me to learn,” senior Jackie Edwards said. “It makes me nervous just wondering what else they’re capable of.”
Student athletes arriving to school early Thursday morning for practice were sent home or to the gym to await pickup.
“Once we got to school we were told that we weren’t allowed on campus and we needed to go home,” senior Kirstyn Dill said. “They blocked off the entrance to the athletic loop and so we had to drive around the school and then out the exit. The students whose parents couldn’t pick them up for a while were told they could go into the gym.”
Around 2 a.m., senior Anna Ellis had gotten back into town from Houston, and arrived at Bowie to pick up her car. When she got there, she spotted someone breaking into her car.
“As we drove closer to our car I noticed that there was things that were inside of our car that were now laying on the ground,” Ellis said. “And then we saw that there was a metal sign post that was laying next to the car along with our windshield wipers and some other things that he had taken off of the car. We pulled up in front of the car and the person who was damaging it took off running towards the church.”
The damage done to the car includes a shattered the back window, missing windshield wipers, and broken side mirrors.
“This morning when I saw school was delayed because of vandalism I was shocked because I figured that the guy that I saw vandalizing our car was probably the same person vandalized Bowie,” Ellis said. “And then when I found out that it was canceled, it made the whole thing a little scarier because it wasn’t just a random car break in, it was the whole school too.”
Principal Mark Robinson released a statement late Thursday afternoon explaining to parents the extent of the damage and how the school would modify for the lost days.
“Please know that we are working hard to identify the suspect in this case,” Robinson said in the release. “I know how important that is to everyone feeling safe on campus.”
The damage to the campus was extensive and because of the potential for serious winds and rain tonight and tomorrow, the decisions was made to cancel school on Friday as well.
“We have a lot of windows to repair,” Robinson said. “We also have to do an asbestos assessment before the campus is considered safe.
Robinson encouraged teachers to “use their professional judgement” in how they handled the upcoming semester exams and the end of the semester. The decisions still left some student shaken.
“It’s pretty scary. For someone to be that angry and do that amount of damage,” Dill said. “And not knowing if it was someone from Bowie or another campus or an adult.”
Classes will resume Monday, Dec.17 with a new schedule for finals. For those wanting to help, the Bowie PTSA Facebook page encourages members of the community to donate money to the cause “#BowieStrong.”
For an update, check out this announcement by the Dispatch!