Vandalism at Sehome, reward offered.


Jim Stewart places a board over the shattered window next to the main entrance to Sehome. The broken pane was finally removed on June 4th, and the new pane is due to be installed soon.

Nate Southcott

In the 8 hours between the strike of the Spamalot set on Sunday, May 4th and the arrival of Jeffry Allen, Sehome’s head custodian, on the following Monday, someone walked through the school campus and wreaked around $10,000 in damages on the brand new building.

When Allen arrived and discovered the damages, he contacted the Bellingham Police Department (BPD) and then called the school administrators to alert them of the situation.

Kimberly Kirk, Social Studies teacher, claimed that the alarm system for the building did not go off when the damages occurred, and vice-principal Marty Atkins later confirmed the fact.

One district van and 11 window panes were shattered by the vandal(s), and one flat screen TV was broken. A BB gun or pellet gun was used to cause most of the damage, although there was a chunk of concrete found embedded in the edge of one shattered window.

A General Storefronts contractor pulls out the shards of the pane that he installed when the building was going up. “I feel bad that he had to do that twice,” Peggy Fogarty said, “it’s a difficult process.”

The windows leading to the administrative offices at the front of the building made up most of the broken windows, but one at the front entrance proper was shattered as well. To cover the $10,000 in damages, an insurance claim was filed by Sehome High School.

General Storefronts, a glass provider out of Arlington, WA, was contacted to replace the damaged windows. General Storefronts was also the provider for the original windows in the new Sehome building. Although new windows were ordered just following the vandalism, they won’t arrive until six weeks after the destruction.

“It takes a while because [General Storefront] orders it, and their provider has to manufacture [the window panes] to the right size,” Curtis Lawyer, the Capital Project Manager Bellingham School District said when questioned about the length of time it is taking to get repairs done.

The school is offering a $1,000 award for “information that leads to the identification and conviction of persons responsible for the damage to our property.” Although there is currently no suspect, Michelle Kuss-Cybula, the school’s principal, does not think a student was responsible, since there has been no information at all from any student or staff.

Despite this, nothing can be ruled out yet. Students, staff, and community members are encouraged to remain vigilant.

“Keep your eyes open,” Peggy Fogarty, Campus Monitor said “if you see something, say something.”