UPDATE: 60+ students involved in Homecoming vandalism

Vandalism at RBs old main entrance saw graffiti, mattresses, couches, and other items placed in front of the doors.

Hannah Pecis/Jeremy Baartman

Vandalism at RB’s old main entrance saw graffiti, mattresses, couches, and other items placed in front of the doors.

Hannah Pecis and Jeremy Baartman

Early in the morning of October 2, upperclassmen students took a traditional toilet papering Homecoming tradition too far.  When students and staff arrived in the morning, the old main entrance to the building had been vandalized.  In addition to the toilet paper, furniture had been deposited on and around the entrance, graffiti had been sprayed, a crib with live chickens had been left, and expandable foam had been sprayed into several door locks.

Three days after the incident the vandalism has garnered attention from professional local news organizations such NBC Chicago and WGN. There were almost 70 students involved in this prank, but not all took it to the extent of vandalizing school property. These students are being dealt with by administration and security and are being given punishments that will reflect on the severity of their actions.  While disciplinary actions are not made public, seemingly all of the students involved were banned from the Homecoming game and dance.  The overall cost is estimated to be $3500 and those who caused the extent of the damage may be forced to pay for repairs.

In a letter to parents regarding this situation, Principal Pam Bylsma said “As the principal of this fine school, I am proud to share with you that the students involved in this regrettable incident represent a small minority. Their choices do not define our student body or our school. We know who we are, and the inconsiderate, destructive acts of others cannot change that identity. We are RB, a place filled with great students, the majority of whom make excellent, respectful choices and who know how to truly demonstrate their school spirit. Let’s celebrate this majority and recognize them for the wonderful young men and women they are.”

Bylsma also made a Morning PA announcement the day after it occurred.  In the announcement, she said “For the rest of you, those who didn’t participate and those of you who are upset by the actions of your peers, these acts don’t define you. They define them.”

The administration and school hopes to move on from the vandalism in the future.

“While yesterday felt like a blow to our spirit, we will regain it.  We will not let this small group have the power to make us question who we are and what we stand for.  Why not? Because we are Bulldogs and Bulldogs are tough!” said Bylsma.

Students and staff arriving early to RB on October 2 saw more than the traditional Homecoming toilet papering around the old front entrance.  The entryway had been vandalized with graffiti, mattresses, couches, toilet paper, and even a few chickens had been released.  School security and the police are investigating the crime.