Kindergarten students at Drinkwater Elementary were both curious and concerned as to why their beloved sandbox was blocked off with yellow caution tape Friday morning when they arrived at school.
Overnight, vandal(s) had smashed out the majority of their classroom’s windows and the window of a nearby room as well. All told, six windows were destroyed.
The tape was to keep the children safe from any errant glass.
It was the second time — at least — that particular kindergarten room had been hit since September.
Drinkwater has been targeted by vandals for months and the total number of windows ruined has climbed to 20.
“Five occurred around back-to-school time and nine were last Sunday [Oct. 10],” confirmed Mike Russell, spokesperson for the Cowichan Valley School District the day before the latest incident.
Staff and students had come back from the Thanksgiving long weekend to find that nine windows had been smashed by vandals, bringing the total then to 14 broken windows since the start of the school year.
The Oct. 14 rash adds six more to that list.
Russell said Drinkwater is the only school that’s been hit to this degree.
Some classes have been hit more than once. In one case, at a classroom in the back of the school, almost every window was knocked out, leaving the students in that room without any natural light at all.
“The police were certainly called and it is under active police investigation,” Russell said.
B.C. RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Madonna Saunderson said the case is still being probed.
“No suspects have been named,” Saunderson said. “If anybody knows anything call police.”
The North Cowichan/Duncan detachment number is 250-748-5522.
Saunderson noted the Thanksgiving weekend incident was reported on Oct. 12 12:32 a.m. when the caller noted “several windows” had been smashed.
The most recent report came at 11:02 p.m. on Oct. 14. Police have visited the school during the course of their investigation.
Meanwhile, boarding up and then replacing the windows has become a lot of extra work for the school board’s operations department.
“They’re working hard to get them made and get them in,” Russell said.