DARLINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — More than 30 Darlington High School students allegedly broke into Darlington High School Thursday night and vandalized the property, according to officials with the Darlington County School District.
According to the district, the students allegedly vandalized and damaged:
- Cameras intentionally obscured with debris
- Doors and windows egged
- Chalk paint used to graffiti walkways, walls, and windows
- Syrup and confetti spread throughout the buildings
- Chocolate sauce poured on the walkways and tracked inside
- Shaving cream sprayed in water fountains and on lockers, display cases, and windows
- Trash cans containing food and milk turned over and garbage spread throughout the yard and buildings
- Light poles, water fountains, and doorways wrapped in plastic wrap
- The principal’s office and the central office broken into and vandalized
- A Falcon mascot headpiece removed from the display case and left in the courtyard with shaving cream on it
- Feminine pads stuck to doorways, walls, and stop signs
- Classroom furniture thrown down the hallway
- Gym equipment and team water bottles removed from storage and thrown around the gym
- Hand sanitizer dumped in the hallway
- Various construction items brought on campus and left inside the building
- In addition to the vandalism, several items and money were stolen from the main office.
School officials said the extent of the damage required “extensive work” from custodial and school staff working from midnight to the start of the school day Friday to ensure school could open.
The district said the students involved violated the district’s discipline policy and also criminal laws, including trespassing, vandalism and potentially burglary, according to a news release.
The district is handling discipline for the students and at this time no charges will be filed against anyone involved, according to the news release. The decision was made in consultation with the Darlington Police Department to keep the students from getting criminal records.
“We are working with school district officials on this investigation,” Darlington Police Chief Kelvin Washington said in a statement. “Multiple laws were broken, and charges could be brought against the violators. The school district hopes to handle this through the district’s discipline policy to keep these young people from getting criminal records. We support the school district’s decision.”
District Superintendent Tim Newman said it’s difficult when young people make poor decisions that could impact their futures.
“This was a serious situation with serious consequences,” Newman said. “While accountability is necessary, this moment does not have to define the future of these students.”
Officers began investigating the incident after police noticed suspicious activity at the school while checking building security, according to the district.