Ohio vandals give 6,700 students a day off - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/3/06

Ohio vandals give 6,700 students a day off

NEWARK, Ohio (AP) -- The city's school district took the unusual step of canceling Monday's classes for all 6,700 students because vandals trashed the city's school bus fleet twice during the weekend.

The shutdown was intended to give police time to investigate all 50 buses for damage and evidence that could lead to the perpetrators, district spokeswoman Karen Truett said. She said the vandals had discharged fire extinguishers, dumped trash in the buses and stuffed paper in the gas tanks.

"By not trying to rush getting some of those buses out of there, we're able to let them get every single little piece of evidence they can get," Truett said. The bus compound also has surveillance video, she said.

About 20 of the central Ohio district's buses were hit in two rounds of vandalism.

After the first incidents were discovered Saturday, the buses were fixed and cleaned, but then the bus facility was hit again late Sunday or early Monday, Truett said. Apart from a broken mirror, there was little physical damage, just a mess, she said.

The bus compound is surrounded by an 8-foot chain link fence topped by barbed wire. District officials believe the vandal or vandals likely squeezed through a gate opening, Truett said.

School officials expect to have the buses back on the road Tuesday.

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