Schoolies off to wild start

SCHOOLIES week may have just begun, but unruly youngsters are already causing trouble for Kepnock residents.

Wendy and Brian Short endured a sleepless Friday night, when about 12 kids smashed stolen watermelons along the street, shattered pot plants against their home, tore out letter boxes and left alcohol cans strewn around the neighbourhood.

The rowdy group also caused damage to Kepnock State High School property, from where they stole the watermelons.

They trashed a chicken pen and seedlings, which are grown by students as part of their agribusiness gateway program.

Mrs Short was disgusted by the behaviour, in which several of her pots were smashed.

“They have no right to destroy other people’s property,” she said.

“I am very disappointed.

“I can’t afford to replace what they have broken.”

Mrs Short said she understood the kids were celebrating the end of school but could not see a reason to destroy property.

“I don’t mind them having fun, but they are celebrating in the wrong way,” she said.

“I am always nice to the kids and bid them good morning and afternoon.”

School principal Jenny Maier does not believe the damage would have been caused by graduates from her school.

“I doubt this damage was done by our Year 12 graduates, who were a real credit to themselves, their families and our school during their graduation and prom last Friday,” she told Mrs Short in an email.

“I don’t know why Kepnock kids would destroy Kepnock property.”

Ms Maier said it upset her when residents immediately point the finger at her students.

“I get disappointed when people assume Kepnock students are responsible for everything that goes on around here,” she said.

“Our students have a sense of pride at this school.”

But Ms Maier was upset with the behaviour of the youths in question.

“My added disappointment is that a handful of young people can do such harm to the reputation of our school,” she said.

“Not only have they damaged the property of our neighbours, they have also stolen from our school farm and destroyed the work of our agriculture students.”

Police patrols will be increased in the area as a result of the vandalism.

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