Back to School at Avenal Elementary

August 13, 2008 8:10:30 PM PDT
Kids went back to school at the south valley elementary school hit with an extreme case of vandalism this summer. This was the scene in early July, after several students broke into Avenal Elementary. They poured glue and paint on the walls and floors of classrooms, broke windows and computer screens.Officials now say there were six children involved with vandalizing the Avenal Elementary School this summer. All of them plead guilty to the charges and have been sentenced. Two of them were actually sentenced this morning. Some of the children received up to a year in Juvenile Hall. The criminal events, however, did not stop students from enjoying their first day of classes.

Hundreds of students filed out of Avenal Elementary school on Wednesday. Many said their first day of classes went without a hitch.

Brenda Arellano, Student "How did the school look? ... Perfect."

The school was not in perfect shape several weeks ago after six students ages 10-12 broke in and trashed dozens of classrooms. School supplies were on the floor and computers and televisions were destroyed. Parents said they were worried when they first heard about the vandalism.

Gloria Castanoz, Parent: "Everybody was saying what about computers we're not going to have any computers I'm like I'm sure they'll come up with something."

And the school did. Earlier this week, teachers were putting the finishing touches on their cleaned up classrooms.

Gloria Castanoz: "I'm glad everything's back to normal and I hope none of this ever happens again and we should be more aware since it's such a small town about what our kids are doing too."

Some teachers talked to students about the vandalism in class. Many even knew the kids who committed the crimes.

Chris Nugent, Teacher: "I asked them what they would do if some of their friends came up to them and suggested something like this and we shared ideas they came up with runaway tell them no, go tell someone."

Four of the boys who vandalized the school have been expelled from school. Two are undergoing expulsion hearings. The mother of two of the boys accused of helping wipe the fingerprints off of a stolen laptop is still waiting to go to trial.

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