Rocklin High hit hard by vandals

By: Jon Brines, Placer Herald Correspondent
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Rocklin Police have their hands full. The worst case of vandalism at Rocklin High School in decades caused more than $20,000 in paint damage to nearly all the buildings on campus overnight last Friday, according to administration. “I can’t recall a school being vandalized to this extent in prior years,” Rocklin Police Lt. Terry Roide said. “Is it one person or 10 people? It is a lot of territory to cover but not out of the question that one person could do it.” The school’s resource officer is heading up the investigation with the full support of Rocklin detectives and patrol staff, Roide said. Creating buzz and possible leads is a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. “It’s a blessing and a curse,” Roide said. “Someone even Tweeted, ‘I need information because I need the money, but we’ll be happy to sort through something instead of not having (leads).” While Rocklin doesn’t have a gang problem, occasional graffiti can happen. But Roide said it’s more likely to be a teenager with issues. “Unfortunately there are individuals out there that do not have a more constructive way to deal with what ever they’re upset about,” Roide said. “The only people who are going to suffer are the students.” Beyond the offensive obscenities were several references to administrators by name. “Obviously they know the administration and the people they named,” Principal Mike Garrison said. “It may not be someone who was expelled, it could be someone mad about a decision we’ve made.” However, Garrison said teachers were not threatened. “It was primarily random,” Garrison said. “It was nothing targeted toward anyone or group of people. There were no threats toward any teachers.” Extra custodial staff had to be pulled over to the school to get the mess cleaned up Friday. The attack comes at the worst possible time as a budget deficit has spurred the district to target 15 teachers at the high school level for layoffs this year. Garrison said even so, the district may need to think about additional measures, if not surveillance cameras, to address problems in the future. “Do you want to be proactive or reactive,” Garrison said. “Doing surveillance is very expensive but do you pay that on the front end or do you wait until something like this happens and pay double the amount on the back end? Those are all conversations we have to have.” Roide said the anger and frustration over the criminal act may actually work in the investigators’ favor. “With or without the reward, students who are upset about this will come forward and say, I don’t care if my friend gets in trouble. This is my school.” If convicted, those responsible could get more than a year in jail and up to $50,000 in restitution and fines for the damage they caused. If you have information about this crime, contact the school resource officer, or call Rocklin Police at 625-5400.