Mettawee copes with vandals

By Jaime Thomas

The Mettawee Community School in West Pawlet is using an act of vandalism as a teachable moment.

An unknown driver heavily damaged the lawn at the school on Columbus Day weekend. Though officials don’t know the exact date of the vandalism, they believe it happened on Monday, Oct. 8.

Principal Brooke DeBonis said she arrived at work that Tuesday morning to find tire marks all over the grass and immediately began making phone calls.

“I talked to state troopers, I was looking into cameras and spotlights, I talked to the constable and the Board of Education,” DeBonis said.

The school had a contractor come in to figure out the cost of installation of a security camera and the technology that accompanies it. DeBonis said she is still waiting for a quote and for Board of Education approval to move forward with further action.

In order to repair the lawn, the school custodian rolled it out and will soon add top soil and seeds. DeBonis said people in the area really care about what happened.

“Everyone here has so much respect for the community; it was overwhelming the response of students and parents who were concerned and wanted to help,” DeBonis said.

The school is using this incident to teach its students. The sixth-grade class, for example, submitted a letter to the editor of the Sentinel. DeBonis said this allows older students to teach younger students how to reach out to the community.

DeBonis said the lawn is already looking much better than it did several weeks ago, but she wants to make sure something is done about it.

“We are taking action and making sure it doesn’t happen again,” DeBonis said.

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