On the morning of Monday Jan. 21, a spray-painted image was discovered on the wall above the auditorium of the school’s front entrance area.
The image depicted a penis with the numbers “2014” printed along its length. The graffiti caught the attention of many students when school started at 9:15 a.m, but it had been painted over within an hour.
Some students expressed that they were not impressed. “It wasn’t very creative or unique,” senior Stephen Read said. “I don’t know who it was, and I don’t care because it wasn’t memorable or original.”
The commotion regarding the graffiti affected teachers as well. “It’s juvenile but it’s not surprising,” English teacher Jennifer Moffitt said. “I think we all forget sometimes that there are teenagers out there that do these things.”
Although a substantial crowd gathered outside, staff employees removed the graffiti by Mods 6-7 by painting over it, thereby reducing the excitement and distraction caused by students stopping to see it. “I know kids just want to have fun, but when you have to spend thousands of dollars to paint over it, especially when the school has been newly painted, it’s just not cool,” principal Andrew Ishibashi said.
While the image was up for only a brief period of time, the administration has been vigilant in the effort to track down those responsible for it. On Jan. 29, Ishibashi made an announcement during registry over Radio Lowell. He offered a reward of 100 dollars and a free prom ticket to whoever had any information regarding the vandalism. “The dean asked me to put up an award,” he said. “It’s his job to find out and investigate who did this.”
According to dean of students Ray Cordoba the reward was a way for students to anonymously tell the administration what they know about the person responsible. “We did some brainstorming, and thought this was the best way to find the culprit, or culprits,” Cordoba said.
Despite all efforts by the administration, the people responsible for the spray-painted image have not yet been identified, though the administration said they have some leads. “Someone has come forward with information, though we need an eyewitness,” Ishibashi said. “The worst thing you can do is accuse a student of something if you are not 100 percent sure.”
If a student were caught for doing the graffiti, they could be face legal charges. “You could turn yourself in, but what is worse is if you get caught because then we press full charges,” Ishibashi said. “If a student admits to it, we give more leniency.”