Smashed school carries on
By CRAIG McTEAR
ORARA High students aren't about to let a mindless destruction spree get to them.
They're too resilient for that.
On Tuesday they were horrified to learn hoodlums smashed almost 90 windows and damaged other property at the school early that morning.
The damage bill will come in at $20,000 to $25,000.
The intruders scaled the school's two-metre high outer fence and set about destroying whatever they could.
It's believed they used a hammer to shatter windows in the foyer of the administration building, the front office, the principal's office, the kitchen, the PE block, an arts and crafts room, the staff common room, skylights above the gymnasium, the girls' and boys' changerooms, and the careers office.
They also forced their way into and ransacked that office. They grabbed milk and water from the fridge and poured them over six computer monitors and keyboards, and a printer.
School principal Graham Mosey said a wall clock, donated by year 12 students in 1991, and which adorned the quadrangle, had also been smashed.
Cleaners discovered the broken windows at 5am.
"Our students have got a real pride in the place and they were really upset and disappointed that someone would be motivated to do this to the school," Mr Mosey said.
"They were just blown away by the stupidity and the mindlessness of it. It was a pointless exercise.
"I'm just mystified by people who do this. The school is there for the benefit of the kids."
Mr Mosey said disruption had been only minimal despite the damage, with only two classrooms out of action for a short time.
"The school carried on perfectly normally," he said.
"Within the day, everything was temporarily re-opened. It was all fixed up within two to three days."
Mr Mosey said students were pleased with the way the school had been going.
"We've made so much progress in the past few years. Someone wants to drag us back, but they won't succeed."
n If you saw suspicious activity at Orara High, you are urged to contact Coffs Harbour police on 6652 0299.
n Also early on Tuesday, the Coffs Harbour High School canteen was broken into for the fourth time since Christmas. The intruders smashed two windows and a door.