Vandalism prompts Chester Middle to cancel school Thursday

Vandals caused so much damage at Chester Middle School overnight Tuesday that administrators have called off classes for Thursday.

In a chemistry classroom, vandals turned on showers and blocked drains on the floor, causing nearby classrooms to flood.

In the offices of the principal and assistant principal, vandals knocked over filing cabinets and smashed windows. In the sixth grade hallway, vandals smashed several windows.

The incident made for a chaotic day of school today.

Students were sent to the auditorium when they arrived, and told to wait there until administrators could find suitable places to hold classes.

As they waited, dozens of students used cell phones to call their parents to pick them up early.

Canceling classes on Thursday will allow for a speedier clean-up, said school board chairwoman Denise Lawson. “They can really get in there and get the place cleaned up, and not have to worry about students in classrooms,” said Lawson. “It’s disruptive to the school day to have work going on. It’ll take some time to put everything back to normal.”