The animals that used to live in a chicken coop were definitely a fixture on the campus. Four chickens, one duck and one rabbit were found dead over the weekend and today, three middle school students are accused of killing them.
"It is concerning for us, especially when dealing with the ages of the students involved," said Santa Clara Police Lt. Kurt Clarke.
The students were arrested yesterday. Santa Clara Unified School District officials would not identify them but say they attended one of their three middle schools. Police say over the weekend, the students also vandalized the snack shack next to the football field and did significant damage to the cars and engines used for auto shop classes. The animals were a part of science classes. The eggs from the chickens were used for the culinary arts program.
"It's not just the students but the teachers who helped care and raise these animals that are really feeling extremely sad by this," said Santa Clara Unified School District Spokeswoman Jennifer Dericco.
One chicken and one rabbit were not harmed. The damage from the vandalism spree is estimated to be several thousand dollars. Parents and district officials say it was somewhat of a relief to find out Wilcox High School students were not involved, but also saddened by the violent crime and the age of the three arrested.
"It was better I guess in a way to hear it wasn't these kids that were doing it but to know it was even younger kids is really upsetting," said Kristy Currie, parent of student.
The three students could face several charges in juvenile court -- including vandalism, burglary and cruelty to animals.