Three boys quizzed over school damage

THREE boys have been questioned by police after a wrecking spree left a trail of destruction at a middle school, forcing it to close.The youths, two aged 11 and one ten, were arrested shortly after the damage was caused at Stowmarket Middle School at the weekend.

By John Howard

THREE boys have been questioned by police after a wrecking spree left a trail of destruction at a middle school, forcing it to close.

The youths, two aged 11 and one ten, were arrested shortly after the damage was caused at Stowmarket Middle School at the weekend. All three have been released on bail pending further inquiries.

Yesterday , a team of 45 teachers, staff and volunteers were helping clear up the damage to 12 classrooms, where musical instruments were left in pieces, text books damaged, carpet flooded, high tech equipment wrecked and youngsters' work on display ripped down from walls.


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Chairs were overturned, toilets attacked, trophies thrown through windows, excrement dropped in front of a fan and spread around the classroom, ceilings damaged and doors vandalised.

Work was scattered across the floor, a projector thrown to the ground, a fire extinguisher let off, a £3,000 interactive whiteboard which allows teachers to display the internet on the board was ripped from the wall, a filing cabinet thrown down the stairs, and a sink blocked in an effort to flood one room.

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Headteacher Gordon Ewing said: "We are really devastated, several staff are in shock, several are crying because they are taking it personally even though it is not a personal attack.

"I've been head here for nine years, a headteacher for 19 years and in teaching for 28 years, including in London, and I've never seen anything like this.

"We want to say a big thank you to Suffolk police and the governors and parents phoning in offering help, to clear up, making coffee. The community spirit has been tremendous.''

Mr Ewing said the school has an alarm and CCTV cameras, but will be extending its CCTV coverage in the wake of the attack and is at a loss to explain the motives.

Barry Salmon, town mayor, said: "This is a sad reflection on those who did this, this is a sad state of affairs. I don't know what the answer is, but they should certainly be made to apologise to the school and should not be allowed to get away with it.

"You just don't do this sort of thing. I am shocked, this is such an unpleasant thing to do in our town and at a school. It's appalling, damaging pupils' work, teachers' work. Parents have put a lot of energy in to the school – this knocks it.''

A spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary said they arrested three boys shortly after the incident. They were released on bail and have to report back to Stowmarket Police Station on June 27.

The school let parents know the school would be closed using media announcements, with just three of 600 youngsters turning up. It is due to reopen tomorrow .

There are students on roll from Stowmarket and Onehouse, with 20% coming from outside of the school's catchment area.

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