Kelly Residence Vandalized

Madeline Briscoe

On January 1st, 2018, AP World History and AP U.S. History teacher James Kelly woke up and discovered his yard, fence, gate and car had been vandalized. Toilet paper was strewn across the yard and garden, and a screen door removed from a neighbor’s house was thrown onto the lawn. Compost was jammed in all of the possible crevices on the car and the gate to his house was destroyed. The vandals also spray painted male genitalia on the surrounding sidewalks, car and fencing.  Toys from neighborhood kids were thrown all over the yard.

Quickly after the incident, Kelly involved the local police, due to the cost of the damage and destruction of neighbors’ property. There was recorded footage of the perpetrators, but Kelly was conflicted on how to proceed, given that submitting the video to the police would turn the case into a criminal investigation, potentially resulting in a fine or jail time for those responsible. Mr. Kelly stated that money was not the paramount issue, since the majority of costs incurred were covered by insurance, but it was more the possibility that students might be involved, the feeling of violation from the destruction of his private property, and the stress that it put on his pregnant wife.

While Kelly’s initial reaction to the act was relatively forgiving, he had a harder time a few weeks later, when on the eve of MLK day, there was a second wave of vandalism. In this second wave of vandalism, Kelly’s gutter was allegedly damaged by a thrown statue and compost was again spread all over his wife’s car. After the second event, Kelly pressed charges. Since the two perpetrators walked directly in front of the surveillance camera, police were given direct evidence as to who was involved with the initial acts. Vice Principal Todd Harrison declined to confirm who the vandal is, and if they have any relationship to the PCS community.

Students are worried that this will reflect poorly on the student population, because it may alter the way teachers view students’ respect for them, as well as teachers’ personal feeling of safety and privacy.