San Gabriel High School (SGHS) was vandalized on May 25, the day before graduation. SGHS, along with the Alhambra Unified School District (AUSD), quickly started an investigation in order to apprehend the vandals. Vandalism with damages over $400 can be classified as a felony in California, which could lead to a $10,000 fine and up to two years of jail time for those over 18 years old.
Opting instead to handle the incident internally, AUSD decided to handle the vandalism as a prank and not involve the local police. The district’s insurance covered most of the repairs; however, AUSD’s facilities and transportation department was not available to comment on the extent of the damages.
Among the victims of the vandalism was math teacher Leah Ulloa, whose classroom window was broken.
“I do know some of the students who were involved and I know they are good kids,” Ulloa said. “Good kids that did something bad.”
In dealing with the widespread damage, the cleaning staff had to replace the broken window, clean up graffiti, and repair locks. They also had to clean trees that were toilet papered and buildings that were egged. Repairing the damages “was not a cheap fix,” Khevin Devaughn, assistant principal of Student and Employee Welfare, said.
Superintendent Denise Jaramillo, who was not superintendent at the time, finds it useless to vandalize no matter the reason.
“To me, vandalism is nonsensical; I don’t know what it achieves,” Jaramillo said. “I never see the purpose in any kind of vandalism.”
Principal Debbie Stone found the incident “unfortunate.”
“But we look to the future,” Stone said. “ We aren’t really looking at that right now, we’ll focus on it more come second semester.”
The group of vandals included some minors so any personal information could not be released due to confidentiality issues. Administrators, including Devaughn and Assistant Principal of Business and Activities Matthew Dultz, would not disclose information nor offer any comments. Other district administrators were not available to comment despite interest from the community on the subject.
“I’m from the class of 1972 and I don’t believe there’s any harm in a little messy fun, but these guys were destructive,” San Gabriel Alumni Vic Lowrey said. “What’s being done to prevent this from occurring again?”
A detailed report of the vandalism can be found here.