School's over but vandalism to sign continues

July 08, 2011

The Hillcrest Elementary School PTA community proudly enjoyed our almost completely refurbished sign during the spring.

The past year had been tough on our 30-plus year-old sign.

Four acts of vandalism had basically destroyed the Lexan window on each side.

Thankfully, the Catonsville Men's Civic Association and We Love Catonsville graciously donated funds to replace both windows.

Thirty years of wear and tear had the electrical/ lighting limping along.

One of our PTA parents, Joe Skidmore from The Electricians, generously agreed to donate labor to get the lighting working to 21st century standards.

Finally, due to an accident caused by an employee, Baltimore County Public Schools had the interior signage completely replaced on one side.

By late May, all of these fixes had been completed. For the first time in years, we had a shiny new sign and were ecstatic.

My family went on vacation during the first week in June.

After we returned, I was riding by the sign and something seemed amiss. I pulled in the parking lot and walked up to it. I almost got sick to my stomach.

One side window was ruined once again. It had a 2-4 square foot area that was scratched and foggy. It cannot be fixed.

I asked around to learn what happened. No one knew the exact story.

I pieced together that a vandal had spray painted a word/symbol/sign that was possibly offensive.

Everyone thought that a good Samaritan had quickly tried to remove the marking before any more people could view it.

I would like to thank this anonymous person for thoughtfully and quickly cleaning it off.

Unfortunately, the sign is ruined once again.

A senseless act of vandalism is going to cost the PTA hundreds of dollars.

A few other volunteers and I must spend a couple of days to order more Lexan, find a truck to pick it up in east Baltimore, then return to the school to replace it.

I do not wish this on any other school, church or business that has a sign but why me?

Ken Erickson

Hillcrest PTA

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