Photos courtesy of San Gabriel High School students

SGHS vandalized day before graduation

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By Kevin Contreras and Lucas Jorgensen

It was an exciting day for senior Sheng Li, on the second to last day of school. The seniors were so close to freedom with graduation the next day. Instantly, their spirits were crushed on Thursday when they saw vandalism and property damage across the San Gabriel High School (SGHS) campus.


“[The vandals] graffitied our walls, the door, and they threw eggs at the door and threw over our tables,” Li, a member of the Business and Technology Academy, said. “They also pushed over the fish pond and all the fish disappeared.”

On May 24 or 25, several students broke into the school and heavily vandalized the campus. Certain parts of the male anatomy along with curse words directed to teachers and the graduating seniors of 2017 were spray painted throughout SGHS. In addition, a teacher’s classroom window was shattered.


The school’s Business and Technology Academy (BTA) garden was ravaged and the butterflies and fish being bred there were killed. Trees throughout campus were toilet-papered, and trash cans were thrown on top of lampposts and the security guard shack.


AP Environmental Science teacher David Whitman’s classroom was targeted and graffitied.

“This is not a senior prank, this is a senior joke,” Whitman said. “These vandals have no moral backbone.”

Students and staff took action and began to repair and cover up the damage. District staff painted over all of the graffiti while students salvaged what they could from the wreckage at the BTA garden.


Staff from SGHS also began using removal chemicals on the images plastered along the walls of the B, A, and E buildings. The perpetrators superglued the doors of the A and E buildings shut so no one could open them to go upstairs. Some doors also had maple syrup, flour, mustard, and eggs thrown at them.

“I think that it’s giving us low morale,” World History teacher Sophia Suñe said. “It’s showing that there is not a lot of school spirit because I haven’t heard a lot of outrage about it from the students.”

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Principal Debbie Stone sent an email to the SGHS staff stating that the Alhambra Police Department was on campus as soon as the vandalism was found, and they proceeded to investigate students who were allegedly involved.

“There is currently an active investigation with the support of the Alhambra Police Department,” Stone said in her email. “Though the investigation is still ongoing, we are confident that we have identified the responsible parties who were involved in this vandalism.”


If you have any information on the individuals behind the vandalism, please contact the Alhambra Police Department at (626) 570-5151.


Photographs: The photos are from SGHS student social media accounts and were edited by The Matador to remove offensive content.


Read more about the vandalism:

Teacher files sexual harassment complaint with DFEH, EEOC (Dec. 9, 2017)

Teachers demand answers regarding campus vandalism (Nov. 9, 2017) 

District handles vandalism internally (Sep. 27, 2017) 

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4 thoughts on “SGHS vandalized day before graduation

  1. Prosecute the vandals to the Fullest extent of the law and demand in court that the parents pay restitution.
    Install cameras to deter future vandalism.
    If help is needed cleaning up, reach out to alumni. Many of us would be glad to help.

    G. McPhee
    SGHS class of 1980

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