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Vandals strike at (and near) SDA

Simmone Stearn
Vandalism seen before school Monday morning on Melba Road.

Story by Taylor Rudman and Simmone Stearn

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Gang signs and derogatory racial slurs were spray-painted on the gym and elsewhere on campus Friday night. It was discovered at SDA early Saturday morning by the janitorial staff. Similar vandalism was also found in surrounding areas in Encinitas. No suspects have been found, Assistant Principal Robert Caughey said.

The vandalism was covered as soon it was discovered on the eastern doors of the gym, the green fencing to the right of the building, and in the wooden tunnel leading up to the 120s. A security service monitors the campus on weekends, but the school relies heavily on the integrity of the community to “see something, say something,” he said.

Caughey said he did not want SDA to be a place for hate where students feel unsafe. “We want all students to feel welcome regardless of who they are and what their backgrounds are and so that’s one of the reasons why we do our best to vanquish these things before students see them,” he said.

Although vandalism has occurred before at SDA, Caughey said this was  the worst: “This is the largest amount we’ve seen in a really long time. And the most negative.”

It is possible that the vandals are not SDA students, he said. “We’re not certain that it was necessarily targeted at us,” Caughey said. The sheriff’s department is checking to see if this vandalism is related to prior vandalism in the community.

If the perpetrators are found to be SDA students, they will be facing severe punishment, including suspension and possibly expulsion, he said.

“It’s not ok for students to feel like they’re threatened or unsafe,” he said. “This is a place where we promote wellness and well-being.”

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Vandals strike at (and near) SDA