San Marcos High School ~ Santa Barbara, CA

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San Marcos Vandalized on Seniors’ Last Day, Classes Displaced

Door Locks on Campus Super-Glued Shut

Early this morning, school personnel arrived on campus to find that the locks to most rooms had been super-glued shut. San Marcos administrators suspect this incident of vandalism to be a Senior prank, but the two individuals believed to be responsible have not been identified yet. The school district is working in tandem with the Sheriff’s Department to identify the vandals using security cameras and other means.

An email to notify teachers and staff of the situation was sent out just before 7 a.m. and it is reported that a team was working to unlock classrooms as early as 6 a.m. Highly prioritized rooms, like the cafeteria and rooms where a final project or exam were scheduled to take place, were unlocked first, but by the time the first bell rang, many locks to rooms were still glued shut.

A District Locksmith blowtorches a lock to melt the super glue. Locksmiths did this to over 100 locks throughout the day. (Roman Trovato)

As a result, classes were held in rooms that had been opened such as the library, cafeteria, auditorium and gym, as well as in outdoor areas.

District locksmiths have been working hard to unlock classrooms since early in the morning, and anticipate having to work all day and into next week.

“There’s a blowtorch and a special control key that pulls these cores out, and it allows us to put in a construction core to open the doors,” said Alan Delgado, District Locksmith. “The cylinders themselves are ruined, not the whole lock set, so we’re gonna have to replace a lot of cylinders.”

As of 12 p.m. today, the locksmiths had opened around 100 locks and an estimated 200-300 more locks to go. They still need to order the new cores necessary for fixing the locks, which are estimated to take four to six weeks to arrive, and will be very costly.

Consequences for this action may be serious, as California law states that such actions of vandalism may be charged as a felony depending on the details.

History and Economics teacher Steven Tragarz teaches class in the Greek Theater after the lock to his classroom was glued shut. (Roman Trovato)

“It’s a misdemeanor if it’s less than $400 in damage, it can be a felony charge if damage is over $400. So, it’s probably over,” said history, economics and former Law and Society teacher Steven Tragarz. “They are juveniles most likely, so they might not charge them with a felony but there’s different rules with juveniles. They could be 18 year old seniors but I highly doubt the school would charge the seniors with a felony, but who knows what will happen.”

At around 9 a.m., Principal Holdren sent a message to the San Marcos community addressing the situation.

“While this is incredibly disappointing, and likely to cost thousands of dollars to repair, we believe that this has been done by a very small group of students,” said Principal Holdren in the message. “We will be reviewing the footage from our cameras and the Sheriffs have been notified.”

This alleged Senior prank falls on the last full day of school for many seniors, making it a very unorthodox ending to their last week at San Marcos. When interviewed, seniors expressed mixed feelings about the situation. Some said that being forced to hold class in shared spaces brought them closer together with students from other grades and classes, whereas others wished that their last day of high school would be more normal.

“It’s annoying, but it’s kind of fun to hang out with friends instead of doing anything,” said senior Laura Spieler.

Students work on their classwork in the library, unable to get into their classrooms. (Roman Trovato)

“I’ve been able to mingle with a bunch of people I didn’t really know and I feel like I’m making so many friends that I should’ve made earlier,” said senior Mia Ruvalcaba, whose second period class was held in the library.

As officials continue to work to identify the vandals, any information is valuable. Students, staff, and other community members are strongly urged to contact Principal Holdren or other authorities

with any further information they have or hear about the incident. 

“My only hope is that it wasn’t students, that it was other people that don’t recognize how important the school is to everybody. I’m extremely disappointed that this happened,” said Principal Holdren in an interview. “But, I am heartened by the fact that it was only a couple of students and that the vast majority of our students are upstanding citizens and that if they knew anything about it, they would tell us.”

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About the Contributors
Noelle Cabrera
Noelle Cabrera, Editor in Chief
Noelle is an 12th grader at San Marcos High School. This is her fourth year on The King’s Page and she is now the Editor in Chief. Journalism is currently her favorite class and she is also a member of the San Marcos Ethnic Studies Club. Outside of school she volunteers with animals, is a member of the Youth Making Change Board and is in the Santa Barbara Chapter of GenUp.
Roman Trovato
Roman Trovato, A&E Editor
Roman Trovato is in 12th grade at San Marcos High School and an alumni of the School of the New York Times. He is excited to begin writing for his second year in journalism as the A&E editor. His hobbies include reading, listening to music, running away from his problems, hanging out with friends, and playing video games. He is very excited to broaden his knowledge of journalism and to continue writing an assortment of nonsense!
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