Vandals cause massive damage at Albuquerque charter school

Posted at: 08/25/2013 10:19 PM
Updated at: 08/26/2013 9:09 AM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4

ALBUQUERQUE -- Vandals sent part of an northwest Albuquerque charter school up in flames Saturday night.

The damage at Mountain Mahogany Community School was so bad, school officials canceled classes for Monday.

Lewd drawings and vulgar words were spray-painted on buildings and sidewalks where kindergarteners through eighth graders learn.

"We've had vandalism before like many other schools," principal Baylor Del Rosario said.

Vandals have targeted the APS public charter school six times this summer.

But not like this.

Albuquerque firefighters were called out to the school near 4th Street and Griegos at around 11:15 p.m.

Firefighters put out two fires.

One burned down a shed with the school's playground and garden equipment inside.

The vandals also took papers out of lockers, stacked them on a table, put a bench on top, and set all of it on fire.

Parents and students gathered at the school Sunday afternoon, hoping to pull together.

"It makes me worry about the little ones, what they have to see. My daughter as we drove up said she was scared. So I'm devastated as a mom," said Maya Fernandez, who helped open the school.

The group also walked to nearby homes reaching out to neighbors.

"I think we really need to work as a community to stop this from happening," fourth grade teacher Conna Meader said.

Investigators told the school's director the vandals did not use an accelerant in the fires.

Shoe prints could also serve as evidence.

School officials said they are prepared to have school on Tuesday.

They are also going to be looking over security camera video.