THOMSON - Two Thomson Elementary School classrooms were vandalized last weekend, according to Principal Donald Davis.
The vandals broke into one of the school's portable units, which holds two pre-kindergarten classrooms, and covered the classrooms with paint. Nearly everything in the rooms is being replaced.
"They got the water paint and poured it all over the students' work," said Davis. "They also discharged a couple of fire extinguishers. However, to our knowledge, nothing was missing. We've been working to get it cleaned up."
In fact, the pre-kindergarten was without a classroom for the entire school week, being forced to reside in a conference room. Davis expects the classrooms to be completely clean Monday morning.
District School Police originally were sent to investigate the incident, but the Thomson Police Department has begun a formal investigation into the vandalism.
"We're following up on some leads. Hopefully they'll be something soon," said Thomson Police Department Investigator Jerry Stanphill. "We've had a couple of names that have surfaced, but we're still looking into them."
Among other things, Davis is upset that the enormous amount of time and effort that went into creating the classrooms has been wasted.
"It's disheartening, knowing that the two teachers devoted a lot of time to develop an environment that's conducive to learning," he said.
McDuffie County has seen its fair share of vandalism recently. Several weeks ago multiple buildings in Dearing - including the Dearing Pool Hall, Dearing Baptist Church, Dearing's Good Samaritan House, as well as its CSRA Regional Educational Service Agency facility - were heavily vandalized with racial slurs. Stanphill said he didn't believe that the incidents were related.
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