Parsons police are investigating vandalism on the campus of Parsons High School from early Sunday morning.
Someone painted disparaging remarks about PHS staff and other phrases and words on the building and signs on campus. The vandalism occurred hours after PHS hosted a sub-state basketball tournament, which concluded Saturday night.
The PHS campus has surveillance cameras in use.
The crime occurred between 1 and 2 a.m. Sunday, but it wasn’t discovered until later Sunday, Police Chief Jason Sharp said. He said the vandals caused an estimated $500 in damage.
A group of Viking supporters showed up Sunday afternoon and cleaned the graffiti off of the buildings and signs around the campus at 31st and Morton.
USD 503 Superintendent Shelly Martin said there were no costs for the repairs at the school, “except the time and effort of a lot of good people.”
She said the PHS administration learned of the graffiti late Sunday morning.
“While they were working with Parsons (police) to report and investigate the incident, a community member posted photos on social media. Some of our students, staff, parents and other community members saw the photos and came up to the building of their own accord to help (approximately 20 individuals).
“Using power washers, sponges and elbow grease, they were able to mitigate the worst of the damage. We are very grateful to all of those who came out to help, and many more who have voiced their support of our high school and district since learning of the incident.”
Martin said she believes those responsible have been identified and this information was turned over to police for investigation.
“We take the destruction of taxpayer property very seriously and intend to take appropriate action once the investigation has been concluded,” Martin said.
USD 503 school board member and retired PHS teacher Lou Martino was thankful for the volunteers, as he posted on social media.
“I want to personally thank all the students, staff and community members who rallied and volunteered to clean up the sickening graffiti that was done to PHS. I’ve always believed that good will always win over evil. And I feel justice will be served.”