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Published: Tuesday, 5/22/2001

Vandals' mess delays classes in B.G. school


BOWLING GREEN - Vandals dumped used motor oil on hallway floors and sprayed grease on combination locks on student lockers at Bowling Green High School, delaying classes for nearly two hours yesterday.

The slippery, dark brown mess left students waiting in the gymnasium while custodians cleaned up, but did not otherwise disrupt school, Principal Jean McCullough said. “There was no permanent damage to the building. It was a mess. That was the extent of it,” she said.

Police are investigating the incident, which was reported about 6:50 a.m. yesterday. A window that police said might have been the vandals' entry point was found open at the school on West Poe Road. All security gates and entry doors were closed and locked, Ms. McCullough said, adding that school officials planned to check security cameras for evidence of an intruder. “We are investigating the incident, and if we can find out who did it there will definitely be disciplinary action taken,” she said.

Nothing was reported missing from any offices or classrooms, and Ms. McCullough said the incident very well could have been an end-of-the-school-year prank. The last day of classes is June 6. “I would call it a prank, but it was certainly a destructive kind of prank, especially if students had walked on it and gotten it on carpeting,” she said. “We don't really accept the inevitability of pranks of any kind. This is a school. People are supposed to go to school. That's not what you're supposed to do in school.”

A custodian who arrived shortly after 6 a.m. noticed the oil, which was on hallway floors in the school's two-story academic wing.

Ms. McCullough said by the time she arrived and police were called, it was too late to delay buses so students were told to wait in the gymnasium.

Some students arrive as early as 7 a.m., and classes normally begin at 7:50 a.m.

Custodians were called in from other city school buildings to help with the cleanup. The lockers could be wiped clean with a towel, Ms. McCullough said.

“They weren't damaged. They were just gooey,” she said.

By 9:30 a.m., students were permitted to go to their classes on the first floor, and by 9:45 a.m. the second floor was reopened. All classes were held, but the first four periods were shortened.

“People handled things very well. We had some parents call and ask what was going on, and we just advised them the kids were in the gym,” Ms. McCullough said.

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