Vandalism prompts surveillance upgrade
A rash of vandalism at Auburn elementary and middle schools has caused administrators to consider increasing security when students and teachers are off campus.
The Auburn Union School District Board of Trustees will meet on Nov. 14 to discuss new surveillance cameras for multiple schools that were vandalized in a variety of ways over the summer.
Michele Schuetz, superintendent of the Auburn Union School District, said the vandalism occurred primarily at EV Cain Middle School and Rock Creek Elementary School, but some damage was also sustained at Skyridge Elementary School.
“A year ago we had someone burn a few slides, but this summer it was constant, so we decided to beef up security,” Schuetz said.
The vandalism was reported to law enforcement, but the culprits have not been caught.
At one school, classes were broken into and computers were smashed. Someone poured soda over computers and keyboards as well. At Rock Creek, Schuetz said the vandals went as far as breaking into the kitchen and stealing food.
Monica Williams, chief business official with the Auburn Union School District, said the damages totaled $15,000. The biggest expense falls on the technology that was destroyed and the windows that were broken.
One of the problems that led to the vandalizing is that during the summer there are not as many people on campus. During the school year, Schuetz said a custodian is there until very late at night, which helps deter anyone from coming on campus or trying to break into the building.
EV Cain Principal Randy Ittner said in the two incidents that happened within two weeks in July, a laptop was stolen and windows were broken at his school. Some areas of the school have alarm systems and there is not video surveillance currently, but so cameras would be a welcome addition.
“The problem in the summer is that there isn’t someone here all of the time,” Ittner said.
Williams said the district has only looked into a few options for better surveillance equipment, but that the installation at each school will probably run around $1,900 per site and $120 per month for monitoring.