Los Gatos High School was targeted by three separate vandal groups on Halloween night.
Wide vandalism has upset school custodians, according to Principal Kevin Buchanan, adding that one of the vandal groups has destroyed to the ground a 529-pound prize-winning pumpkin. ABC7 News also obtained surveillance footage showing another group joining in a widespread egging.
“They came with cartons of eggs. They were filming it on their phones,” Buchanan said. “We saw that on our surveillance video. And they went from building to building and egged almost every building.”
But the third group had the most troubling actions.
“They spray-painted racist and homophobic slurs across campus,” Buchanan shared. “And in some cases, targeted specific teachers by name on their classroom walls-windows.”
When the principal took office on July 1, these “challenges” were already made known to him. He also understood that some of the nasty behavior goes beyond the school.
Buchanan said the graffiti does not only appear on the school, but also at the teacher’s home.
“That situation is beyond the high school,” he said. “Our high school is a challenge. We are an open campus. We maintain kind of a collegiate-type environment here, where all the buildings have different departments, and there are no fences around our campus.”
On Tuesday, Councilmember Matthew Hudes said: “Of course the schools have a great deal of responsibility for shaping behaviors of students, but parents are often involved.”
The school district and Los Gatos Town Council members tackled drinking, the use of illegal drugs, and parties during a Tuesday meeting.
“The fact that we have parties where parents are present and providing alcohol is, in my view, the top concern that this council should be addressing,” Councilmember Maria Ristow said.
The meeting revolved on the penalty parents could face if they host parties and have minors get drunk, as well as for underage persons who will be caught defying the rules.
The discussion continues on the matter while Buchanan expressed that a whole-community approach is needed for the said effort.
“I think it’s just that,” Buchanan told ABC7 News. “It’s that we all hold up our end.”
“We aren’t naive enough to believe that strengthening the Social Host Ordinance will stop underage drinking on its own, but it certainly can help to build community awareness. To send a powerful message to our community that underage drinking is not acceptable,” Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School Superintendent Dr. Mike Grove meanwhile said at Tuesday’s meeting.