Vandalism mars Whittell, Kingsbury schools | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Vandalism mars Whittell, Kingsbury schools

William Ferchland

Swastikas and other graffiti were discovered at two Douglas County schools over the weekend, causing $2,500 in damage and prompting a reward for information leading to the arrest of those involved.

Whittell High School was hit the worst. The home bleachers, announcement booth and sidewalks were targeted.

“The writings included derogatory statements made toward the principal as well as swastikas and the numbers 420, most likely referring to April 20 as being the national ‘smoke marijuana’ day,” stated Douglas County sheriff’s Sgt. Tom Mezzetta.

The graffiti was wiped off or covered quickly by custodians Monday, said Principal Janie Gray.

Gray believed the vandalism was the work of disgruntled youths.

“This is not representative of the students of this school nor of the attitude of the community to the school,” she said.

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The numerals were also found painted in the same colors at the entrance of Kingsbury Middle School on Saturday afternoon.

Principal Nancy Rollston said it took some work for custodians to scrape the paint off the plastic of the school’s marquee before Monday.

No students saw the graffiti, she said.

“It’s so unusual. We don’t have graffiti here,” Rollston said.

While authorities believe the two are linked, as of yet they see no connection to the pair of swastikas and the words “Die Jew” spray-painted in December at Temple Bat Yam, a synagogue in South Lake Tahoe.

“We are still investigating the one that we had at the synagogue but we haven’t had any in town since then,” said South Lake Tahoe police Lt. Terry Daniels. “There is no information or evidence to connect the two at this point.”

“Writing it on a school is more childish and more intended to be vandalism versus a hate crime,” he added.

The vandalism at Whittell was discovered Sunday morning.

A Douglas County sheriff’s sergeant said cameras at the school weren’t operable. No evidence was left behind at either school, Mezzetta said.

– E-mail William Ferchland at wferchland@tahoedailytribune.com

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