WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — A school vandalized weeks before children were supposed to return to class.
The damage is so bad at Arkansas State University Early Learning Childhood Center in West Memphis that school leaders told us they will not be able to start classes on time.
West Memphis Police are offering up to a $2,000 reward to anyone who knows what led to this crime.
The program manager said it appears someone threw a brick through the front door and got inside.
“Two of the teachers’ computers were stolen, all the iPads were stolen, the other computers were thrown in the floor smashed,” said Theresa Bohannon, program manager.
Paint on the floor, papers and glue sticks were scattered.
“I’ve never felt unsafe until that time, it’s a very emotional state because that’s a safe haven for the children,” she said.
The learning center is for children two-in a half to five years old has been around since the mid-90s.
Bohannon learned about the vandalism when she went to check on the school a week ago.
A lot of low-income families depend on the school.
“I just couldn’t understand why somebody would want to do that,” she said. “It wasn’t to me; it wasn’t to my staff but it was to my babies. Even though they’re two in a half, they’re my babies.”
Bohannon estimates the repairs will cost more than $10,000.
The damage means kids will not be able to start class on Aug. 24 as initially planned. Some fear that a late start could cause the children to fall behind.
The big question still remains as to why someone would do this.
“To be honest I have no idea why someone would do this,” Bohannon said. “My main focus is just trying to get the center back up and running because we want to make sure those families and those children have what they need.”
Bohanon said the school is now looking to replace school supplies like stuffed animals, books, glue sticks and Lysol wipes.
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