Angry O'Connor: Vandals Committed A Felony

Break-in over the weekend caused significant damage at Tewksbury High.

The longer the angrier he grew.

Tewksbury's superintendent of schools was briefing the School Committee on a break-in that had occurred at the high school over the weekend. And O'Connor found nothing funny about what might have been intended to be a "senior prank."

According to O'Connor, a group of people broke into the school late Sunday night and committed acts of "malicious damage" and vandalism.

"We are committed to finding the people who did this. I'm reminding parents that breaking into a closed building is a felony," said O'Connor, adding that a felony conviction might cost a student acceptance into the college they had wanted to attend.

According to O'Connor, paint was taken from the art room and was splashed on lockers and through the hallways. In addition, some classrooms were ransacked with furniture moved around.

Some furniture was actually moved out of the building and into the courtyard. That might not have been so bad, except for the fact that it rained overnight and the furniture was damaged.

After the meeting, O'Connor was still steaming and said police are conducting a thorough investigation to find out who was involved.

"We've had it. We're not going to tolerate this," said O'Connor.

May seems to be the month for these types of incidents in Tewksbury. Earlier this week, had to be evacuated after a bomb threat was found scrawled on a bathroom wall. Last year, had to be evacuated due to a report of a gun in the building and had to be evacuated in May due to a bomb scare. Both incidents proved to be hoaxes.



Dan May 25, 2012 at 11:25 AM
The town better start getting tough on these people. Sick and tired of this kind of stuff going on. Catch them and make them pay for every thing damaged!!!
denise May 25, 2012 at 11:58 AM
I am all for senior pranks...but damaging property is another thing...kids in this town sometimes think they own this town...Find them...and punish them!
TomH May 25, 2012 at 12:27 PM
What ever happened to the good old days, when seniors stole large decorations from Funland and put them on the school roof? ahhh....memories.....
Karen May 25, 2012 at 12:36 PM
You have to impose stricter penalties at the high school all around! ...e.g. inappropriate attire, smoking in the bathrooms,
Kathleen Brothers May 25, 2012 at 01:55 PM
I wonder why young people are so very angry and destuctive? I hope they get these kids and make them go in and clean and repair all the damage. I wonder if they were thinking it is going to be torn down anyway? There is no excuse for this kind of behavior. They don't realize the cost of replacing or cleaning up their mess. By the way, senior pranks, in my opinion are fun, but like Denise states damaging property is a bad and expensive thing! I don't blame Dr. O'Connor for being angry.
Vini Messina May 25, 2012 at 01:56 PM
You have to wonder if this is a sign of what to possibly expect to happen at our brand new 80 million dollar high school.
malcolm nichols May 25, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Perhaps they all live at the Caswell or Motel 6.
Kathleen Brothers May 25, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Good point Vini. Dr O'Connor and his staff have to instill in the students PRIDE of their new school surroundings, so things like this won't happen in the future, in my opinion.
SoxFan May 25, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Don't they have cameras inside?
Daisy Duck May 25, 2012 at 03:38 PM
I'm all for Senior Pranks, but do something like another school did and put thousands of balloons in the hallway. Destruction is not funny or a prank. I hope they find the kids and they lose acceptance to their college. Let their parents pay for their sorry butts by having them home next year!!
jo May 25, 2012 at 04:22 PM
I am confused. Is Kathleen Brothers trying to put the responsibility for these malicious acts on the school personnel? I am perceiving that innuendo and do not feel that it is appropriate.
malcolm nichols May 25, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Maybe the thought was that the building would be demolished this summer so who really cared?
Kathleen Brothers May 25, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Steve May 25, 2012 at 10:23 PM
new school next year?
Avery Bradley May 25, 2012 at 10:51 PM
You're all clowns, kids are gonna be kids so get over it you fun suckers
denise May 25, 2012 at 11:50 PM
Spoken like the true vision of our future...
Akire May 26, 2012 at 12:41 AM
I personally am currently a student at TMHS. I feel as if you're are blaming the whole student body, and thinking everyone in the school is like this. They're not really at all,a good number of the seniors of 2012 have just always been really destructive and rude. Just this past week my history class worked hard on honoring all of the fallen soldiers in the war by writing down every single name of every soldier that has passed away and put them up in the school. We've never really had any other incidents like this before. The past 4 years of senior pranks have been more or less innocent. And not all of the Seniors this year were involved with it. From what I gathered it was just a small group of kids. All the seniors I know also thought the prank was really dumb and immature. So, just because a few kids did something stupid you shouldn't think we're all the same. And it's also not that we don't have school pride, you'd be shocked to hear that most of us do. I personally love the school, and I went on a tour with some teachers into the new school and it's honestly beautiful and I'm going to be extremely upset if someone tries to vandalize it in anyway. You probably will just read this and think nothing of it because it's coming from a teenager, but I thought I'd say something as an inside source.
Make A Difference May 26, 2012 at 02:09 AM
I 100% agree with you Akire. Being a graduate from 2011 it is hard to read these comments and see how quickly people are to generalize like this. Being a graduate I do not find it funny pulling this prank but you can not go on and believe that the whole student body agreed with this idea and liked it. And we can probably assume the couple of students that did it were thinking "hey this school is getting knocked down in a month so whatever", but it still was not a smart idea. Additionally, students want to come up with fun pranks trust me. Our class actually took out 70% of the desks and put them in the courtyard but the students were caught and the school was fixed in time. So these kids tried to go off of that. It is hard to be original these days when you hear of all of these cool pranks but you want to be original and not taking anybodies ideas, as well as not vandalize anything. With that being said, don't be quick to think we students are stupid and want to ruin everything. Do you forget what it was like to be young, and you are telling me your town was perfect and did nothing wrong you you had no kids starting up trouble and having school fights.
Make A Difference May 26, 2012 at 02:12 AM
all ages of people are angry and destructive. don't generalize like that. I am a graduate of 2011 and it saddens me that people think that we young people are very angry and destructive. Most of us students only try to be the best we can be and then a "couple" of kids do this and now we are all angry and destructive.
Bee Free May 26, 2012 at 02:15 AM
pranks are usually done by a small group of kids so good for Akire speaking up. good kids are out there, the bad ones just seem to make louder noise some times tewksbury does have a bad track record of weak enforcement sadly or it seems that way are punishments outlined anywhere in a handbook?
Make A Difference May 26, 2012 at 02:17 AM
...they have. my freshmen year people smoked all the time in the bathroom and fights in the school all the time, people wearing atrocious outfits..that was Lally's first year. Since then the fight rates have gone down 85%, my senior year maybe once every two months i smelt smoke, and kids in my class would get pulled out for too shorts of shorts and such. I know this year was a little different with smoking because they no longer have a hall monitor i believe. but still. they have improved. they are trying.
Steevo May 26, 2012 at 07:26 AM
My TMHS graduation class was in '74 and I remember in early '73 when kids from the high school broke into it and stole from the newly established in-school store. I knew the kids who did it and how they bypassed the then sophisticated sonic alarm. I knew others in school who thought it was cool to pull off. If there had been a vacant school with items inside I don't think it would have been all that surprising if it ended up vandalized. If from your memory you haven't had incidents like this before then that's something to take pride in, in my opinion.
trish May 29, 2012 at 05:59 PM
I agree 100%. they need to start being tough and do something instead of letting kids go
Rusty August 01, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Hmm it's August 1st.... I thought they were sure they'd find the vandals... No names yet?
Mike August 30, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Still have not found those scumbags in my graduation class? I know who it is anyways should I say something or just forget about it since the school is torn down?


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