Friday, Sept. 17, principal Maggie Walls released a statement during the morning announcements regarding the recent reports of school vandalism at McIntosh High School.
“You have the opportunity to attend the best public high school in Georgia,” Walls said. “You are surrounded by supporting teachers, counselors and administrators who work night and day to make good things happen.” She referred to McIntosh as “a sacred place.”
There are severe consequences for vandalizing the school, according to Walls.
“If you vandalize school property our Code of Conduct calls for you to be suspended from McIntosh High School,” Walls said. “It is a tribunal offense. You hurt McIntosh, you get to go to Fayette County Alternative School. You are no longer a McIntosh student.”
“So the next time your phone tells you it’s funny to vandalize a public institution, devoted to helping you have a better future, I suggest you find something better to do with your time and your energy,” Walls said.
“I really liked what she had to say because it is a privilege to go to McIntosh. It’s a really good school. A lot of other schools don’t have the same privileges as us. It is a privilege to have an education, especially here,” sophomore August Moss said.
McIntosh High School’s Athletic Director and Assistant Principal Leon Hammond said administrators released the statement “just because of the amount of vandalism that’s occurring, and the number of times that has happened, the dollar amount of the items that are being damaged and taken.”
“There was a plastic bag over the sink [in the boys’ locker room] today,” Nick Carrino (10) said. “It shows that obviously something happened, and [administration] is trying to stop it from happening. I agree with the fact that it’s vandalism and that shoudn’t exist in this school.”
Hammond also said that “students are also now taking personal possessions [from] teachers.”
Due to all of the vandalism occurring around the school rumors have started around the school about the possibility that certain bathrooms will be closed and backpacks will go back to no longer being allowed.
“There is a possibility that if this type of action continues, backpacks can be taken away,” Hammond said. “Students with the items they are taking, they’re putting them in their backpacks to leave the bathroom so cameras [aren’t] seeing them walking out with them.”
Other consequences for the spate of vandalism may also include closed bathrooms in the future.
“That is another possibility that’s being talked about right now as we try to figure out what’s the best way to curb these actions that students are taking.”
Hammond suggested this is what students who want to be able to use backpacks and go the restroom might consider.
“The best way to stop them honestly is for the students who are doing it to stop, but also for the students that see something to say something,” Hammond said regarding what students can do to stop bathrooms from closing and backpacks being banned. “[T]he small majority that are taking these are affecting the larger majority of students.”
In an emailed statement to parents and students sent later Friday, Walls outlined specific consequences laid out in the Code of Conduct.
“Destroying, defacing, or stealing school items is a felony. If a student is caught destroying, defacing, or stealing on our campus, there will be a school suspension, full restitution, and possible criminal charges brought by local law enforcement. These actions limit access and create disruptions within our learning environment.”
In the video, Walls ends her message with positive reminders of what MHS is here for.
“This place exists so that you thrive. Protect our school, protect our teachers, and do better.”