Coming back to school after two weeks of holiday vacation was made even harder for the staff and students of Maumelle’s Academics Plus Charter School, who returned from the break to find their school extensively vandalized.
Dr. Mona Briggs, superintendent of Academics Plus, said that sometime New Year’s Day, vandals entered the school and caused between $15,000 and $18,000 in damage, including breaking “eight or ten windows,” spilling paint on classroom floors, puncturing and defecating on the school’s brand new wrestling mat, destroying televisions and a stereo, and urinating throughout the building. Briggs said that police soon arrested four middle schoolers in the incident — including one student enrolled at Academics Plus. Maumelle police said the four were charged with commercial burglary, criminal mischief and criminal trespass.
Briggs said the school “didn’t miss a beat,” with the staff working into the night to make sure the mess was cleaned up in time for classes to begin as scheduled.
“It definitely wasn’t a happy New Year,” Briggs said. “But we’re moving on and hoping to get restitution from those who did it.” — David Koon