School offers $500 reward after vandals strike

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ST. GEORGE - A southern Utah high school is looking for the public’s help identifying at least two people involved in vandalism at their school earlier this week.

Richard Holmes, Washington County school district assistant superintendent, said thankfully it’s not something that happens a lot, but when vandalism does hit, the schools take it personal.

“It just reinforces that feeling that, hey, this is our home away from home, this is our environment, our school. This is what we love,” Holmes said.

The vandalism happened at Desert Hills High School Monday night. The school district said at least two individuals were caught by the school’s security cameras spray-painting obscenities on the school’s exterior walls, benches and a driver’s education car. The group also broke windows. Administrators found the damage Tuesday morning.

“They [administrators] went and surveyed and evaluated the situation,” Holmes said. “The school resource officer was there, and they began their investigation.”

Holmes said it didn’t take long for the community to step in and help, quickly cleaning off the spray paint before students used the common outdoor area for their lunch period.

“Mr. Taylor, the principal, had past students text him and say, ‘Hey, I can be there in a matter of minutes to help clean up,’” Holmes said. “He had parents come in and say, ‘Hey, I’m going home to change my clothes, I’ll be right back.’”

The police investigation, however, continues. Desert Hills High School is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible. Anyone with information is asked to contact the St. George police department at 435-627-4301, or the school directly at 435-674-0885.