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Sunday, January 29, 2023



Nov. 14, 2001 — The Juanita Gardine Elementary School will reopen Wednesday, two days after vandals trashed classrooms and forced administrators to close the school.
But in order for students to return to school on Wednesday they must be accompanied by their parents or guardians for an 8:30 a.m. assembly, Gardine Principal Carmine Mills said.
"No students will be admitted to class without a parent or guardian," Mills said. "It is very important we come together as a group. We need to reflect on what happened here."
Over the holiday weekend, vandals broke into the Estate Richmond school on two occasions and ran amok in the kitchen and classrooms. The damage was worse in the classes, where the unknown culprits tore chalkboards and bulletin boards off the walls, overturned desks and water coolers and splattered paint over everything.
On Tuesday, volunteers from throughout the community, including students from Country Day School and St. Mary's, pitched in to clean up the destruction, Mills said.
Vandals also struck at the Lew Muckle Elementary School over the Veterans Day weekend, St. Croix Superintendent of Schools Terrence Joseph said. The incidents, he said, coincided with the beginning of American Education Week.
Joseph said the culprits, whether adults or young people, must be caught and forced to pay for the damage they inflicted. The Department of Education had just stocked many classes with much-needed equipment and supplies.
"We have to catch whoever is doing this and hold them accountable," Joseph said, adding that if it is children, their parents should be made to pay for damages. "There is no respect anymore," he said. "No respect."

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