Third Graders Vandalize Miami's Head Start, Officials Say

Wednesday, April 29th 2015, 11:01 am
By: News On 6

Classes at Miami Head Start were canceled Monday after officials say a group of third-graders vandalized the building.

They say the vandalism was believed to have occurred sometime Saturday night.

"I wish it wouldn't have happened, of course, but it could have been a lot worse than what it really was," said Rocky Barnes, center director.

"The rooms were a total mess. Everything had been tipped over. They had been making little potted plants for the parents for Mother's Day, and they had taken those and thrown them all over the rooms."

Barnes told KOAM, the CBS affiliate in Joplin, Missouri, $1,500 worth of food was lost.

"Anything that was open in the kitchen or looked like it had been tampered with, the seal broken, had to be thrown out," Barnes said.

He said a parent of one of the children who vandalized the center, turned the names of the five children, all under the age of 10 into authorities.

Officials at the center located on H Street say they gained access through an unlocked door by the playground.

Barnes said the staff worked to get the building cleaned within just a few hours.

Another parent brought her child to the preschool during clean-up to apologize.

"She was sincere, and her mother said she was not going to get away with it easily," Barnes said. "I told her I appreciated her coming in and facing up to what she had done."

Barnes says it's a good lesson for the kids on the consequences of their actions.

There is no word of any further disciplinary action against the children at this time.  Classes at Head Start resumed Tuesday.