4 East Bay schools already facing budget deficit broken into, vandalized over weekend

ByTim Johns via KGO logo
Thursday, July 14, 2022
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Four schools in the West Contra Costa County School District were broken into and vandalized over the weekend.

RICHMOND, Calif. (KGO) -- At first glance from the outside, Lincoln Elementary in Richmond looks like it would on any other summer day.

But go inside, and you'll find a school in tatters.

Over the weekend, Lincoln Elementary, Nystrom Elementary and the Richmond Charter Academy were broken into and vandalized, along with a school in San Pablo.

A string of break-ins that has hit East Bay schools for the second weekend in a row.

RELATED: Students at multiple Bay Area schools vandalizing bathrooms after TikTok challenge

"A few rooms here are trashed. The hallways are trashed. People have thrown things into the hallway. They used baseball bats to break windows," said West Contra Costa Unified School District spokesperson, Ryan Phillips.

Richmond police say they believe the culprits are teenagers.

"It appears that it is the same group, but we're looking into that as well. There was graffiti on the walls that made it seem like it could have been the same group" said Lieutenant Matt Stonebreaker.

Of the schools targeted, Lincoln sustained the most damage. And now district officials are trying to assess how much money it will take to repair.

"We're already facing an extreme budget crisis in our district and to have to direct resources to something like this is very unfortunate," Phillips said.

RELATED: East Bay school district could run out of money they project $151M debt in 2024

But it's not just the physical damage done to the schools that officials are worried about. It's also the impact it has on the community.

Phillips says many are still shocked by what's happened. They wonder why anyone would want to do this.

"This is a gem of a school and for something like this to happen is unbelievable," he said.

Despite the job ahead of them, Phillips says school will resume on-time on August 16. And that, together, the community will pick up the pieces once again.

"It's been touching to get the outpouring of support that we've received from people in the community, and businesses who have reached out and said they'd like to help," said Phillips.

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