News

Suspects identified in recent vandalism strikes on Pleasanton Middle School

Fundraiser being planned to help pay for repairs to campus

Pleasanton Middle School officials have found the parties responsible for vandalizing the campus twice last week, following an internal investigation.

The identities of the “suspected responsible juveniles” have not been released due to their age, nor how many individuals were involved in the destruction of school property.

On May 14 between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., several unnamed culprits snuck into Pleasanton Middle School and vandalized the campus, causing "heavy damage," according to school administrators. A “similar display of vandalism” also took place on May 11 on campus.

A crime report was filed with the Pleasanton Police Department, which told the Weekly that “school administrators are handling the vandalism investigation at this point.”

“Our priority at Pleasanton Middle School is to maintain a safe environment for our students and staff,” said school administrators in an email to the campus community. “We are aware of the individuals involved in the vandalism and are in the process of concluding our investigation.”

No estimate is available yet for repairing the damage, but school officials said the vandals “destroyed custodian tools, overturned and cracked our cement garbage receptacles, smashed announcement speakers, and caused heavy damage to our beloved school garden,” including tearing up plants and drip irrigation systems from the ground, slashing shade umbrellas and ruining student artwork.

Photos on social media also showed items thrown up on the roof of one of the buildings, a damaged fan and PA speaker, overturned picnic tables, and piles of paper strewn outside. “This disturbing behavior is unacceptable and truly disheartening,” said the Pleasanton Middle School PTSA.

“A number of individuals did come forward” in the following days about the vandalism, according to district spokesperson Patrick Gannon, who added that “the school and Pleasanton Middle School PTSA has had an outpouring of support from the school and community, which has been wonderful.”

The PTSA is currently organizing a fundraiser to assist with the repairs; an announcement about the event will be made soon.

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Comments

34 people like this
Posted by Just wondering
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 21, 2019 at 10:04 am

Just wondering is a registered user.

Can the city require the vandals and their parents to pay back the community? Or at least require extensive hours of public service?

Thank you to the kids at school who came forward with information to help catch the vandals.


6 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 21, 2019 at 10:45 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

This is the school district (separate entity). I am guessing the district would have to press charges and a court determine what the punishment might be. And they have insurance.


39 people like this
Posted by Stan
a resident of Country Fair
on May 21, 2019 at 11:22 am

Hold on a second. I am puzzled why PPD would not do their job and investigate the crime rather than turn it over to PUSD for investigation. Is PUSD now responsible for law enforcement? Secondly, PUSD property even though a separate entity is public property. Therefore the victim is not PUSD, but rather us as the taxpayer. I would expect that PUSD should and must file charges and seek punishment and full restitution. Unless, of course that is too much trouble...its much easier to look the other way and provide excuses.

Remind me again how much bond money did they get the last round and how much more are they seeking? Such stellar stewards of our money.


5 people like this
Posted by James Michael
a resident of Val Vista
on May 21, 2019 at 11:43 am

James Michael is a registered user.

Nothing is a "separate entity". All divisions of government are connected.


23 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 21, 2019 at 12:39 pm

I think Stan has a very good point! If a fundraiser is needed to pay for repairs then it must be significant enough dollars. The students, persons and or their parents should be held accountable. This is not a "turn your head the other way kind of a thing"!!! Responsible citizens are made by learning responsibility right from the beginning. Look the other way and nothing has been learned to make the individual(s) better going forward. Pleasanton Police should own this and take appropriate action or I as one resident will never participate in another school fundraiser, bond measure or personal donation.


21 people like this
Posted by Really?
a resident of Country Fair
on May 21, 2019 at 12:41 pm

A fundraiser, really??? Isn’t there insurance to pay for damages? The fundraiser is already coming out of my pocket in the form of bond measures!! I don’t think selling some ‘baked goods’ and expecting even more from us parents is the way to go here. Who comes up with these brilliant ideas!!?? Good grief!


2 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 21, 2019 at 1:57 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Their budgets are separate. Their insurance, employees, reason for existence—all separate. The city has no power over the district, for the most part. They all are accountable to the state though.

Is there a possible deductible or minimum threshold for the insurance?


31 people like this
Posted by SaraCA
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2019 at 2:38 pm

SaraCA is a registered user.

No money coming from me. They know who did it. One of the kids parents owns their own company...they can pull the funds from there. We have a real issue with a group of kids at this school, very entitled. One of the boys spent the weekend on social media laughing it up that he got busted along with his younger friends giving him props. Don't donate. This was coming. I've seen on social media these kids out at midnight all the time....if parents would just take a look this along with the fights could have been prevented.


16 people like this
Posted by Robin Taggart
a resident of Laguna Vista
on May 21, 2019 at 3:43 pm

People of Pleasanton.... Rest assured Pleasanton Middle School will charge the families of the students involved. These teens will have to pay for all the damage. I remember when my oldest was attending Amador and teens vandalized the campus. The students were all caught and ended up paying for all repairs. This will happen again. That is one thing PUSD will make sure happens.

Rest assured it will not come out of any bond money. Who started the fundraising anyways? The parents will be told to pay for damages.


36 people like this
Posted by Disheartened
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 21, 2019 at 5:48 pm

Disheartened is a registered user.

Let's see if I got this right. Students cause damage to the local middle school. Students are soon identified, therefore parents are identified as well, just not made public because of protecting the students who caused the damage. Dollar amount not disclosed but bound to be pricey. PPD passes the investigational buck to PUSD? PTSa says let's do a fundraiser so the parents of the other students (who didn't vandalize their school) can pay for damages instead of holding the guilty students and their parents responsible. OH, of course, there's insurance. Just watch those premiums go up after this claim! In the olden days, the parents' pocketbooks would have been affected, not the residents of the community. What ever happened to "You Break it, You Buy it"? When did we lose sight of the principle of accountability?


20 people like this
Posted by Debby
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2019 at 7:24 pm

I'm assuming this is the Pleasanton Parent Teacher Student Association thinking about a fundraiser. Premature. Yes, there is insurance with a deductible and the rates will go up. However, the children and parents should pay for the damages. If they don't, the previous person saying "privilege" is correct and shame on the school district and the police department.

Don't pay to any "Go Fund Me" or PTSA drive. Support the community - there are consequences for actions and PMS PTA, PUSD and Pleasanton tax payers shouldn't be bailing out vandals - that's saying we support you trashing our schools.


11 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 21, 2019 at 7:42 pm

Debby, well stated.

It is my opinion, all juvenile offenders should be tried in a court of law, convicted and sentenced to five years detention, in a juvenile offender institution, with permanent record for the rest of their life's.


4 people like this
Posted by Rider
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 22, 2019 at 11:28 am

Rider is a registered user.

It's a rather lengthy process to get the parents of these kids who vandalized PMS to pay restitution. First, you have to press charges. Then the kids will either stand trial or accept a plea bargain agreement. There were several kids involved, so I'm sure the parents of the kids involved will all blame the other kids for the damage. So this could end up in trial. Anyway, sorting out who pays what in restitution could take many months or even years. In the meantime, you have a school that needs repairs. Where does the money come from?


7 people like this
Posted by Robin Taggart
a resident of Laguna Vista
on May 22, 2019 at 11:34 am

The students that vandalized Amador years ago were made to pay for all the damages to the school. I remember very clearly that the families tried to blame the other students, but the district heads is stand and made them all pay their fair share of the damages.

I knew one of the families and the parents were pissed off!!! HA!!! It will all come full circle for these students.


5 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 22, 2019 at 11:58 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Rider, I’m not sure what you propose. If you raise money now and then parents are made to pay, where does that money go. I believe the district is in an insurance pool. Perhaps insurance will cover it now and parents will pay back into the pool?


26 people like this
Posted by Make the vandals pay!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 22, 2019 at 2:54 pm

No money for fundraisers! The vandals pay the damages. No insurance so that the premium goes up. Hold those kids responsible. Expel them too. This is not toilet paper in the trees - this was violent and costly damage. And for the parents that are letting one of those boys play Babe Ruth - you have your priorities completely messed up.


13 people like this
Posted by Unbelievable!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 22, 2019 at 10:11 pm

Why didn't the students get expelled? This is absolutely insane. Parents should be paying back every cent of the damage their entitled brats did to this school. Shame on you!


4 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 22, 2019 at 11:24 pm

I agree with the general sentiment in holding those that committed these crimes accountable.

I wish the same intensity was showed for the felon shooter that killed Kate S, or the sheriff's wife that murdered a child, or the lawyer that murdered a foreign visitor, or even our politicians failing to deliver on budgets and infastructure


8 people like this
Posted by David
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on May 23, 2019 at 12:03 am

David is a registered user.

Perhaps the parent is actually a single mom struggling from paycheck to paycheck and dealing with an out of control teenager. We should not be so quick to blame a parent but I agree public service for the vandals should be mandatory.


7 people like this
Posted by Be a Voice!
a resident of Downtown
on May 23, 2019 at 8:33 am

I hope every one of you that took the time to comment on this article will write an actual letter to the PUSD voicing your opinion that the students and their families should be held accountable, that you will be encouraging others to NOT donate to a fundraiser and that you are appalled that they are attempting to keep this “in house” opposed to handing it over completely to PPD. Charges should be filed and the kids/parents should be made to pay.


12 people like this
Posted by sad
a resident of Birdland
on May 23, 2019 at 10:32 am

I am so sad to find out that I know one of the students. He and his family aren't any of the names your are assigning them. Those boys messed up bad. They made a terrible mistake and should definitely be held accountable, that's life. However, be on their record for their whole life, give me a break. Fully matured adults make terrible mistakes that don't go on their record for life. I personally would love to see tons of community service hours. We have plenty of schools in the district that need to be cleaned/fixed. I don't agree with suspensions and letting the kid stay home from school. I would love for them to miss class working on campus. Just an opinion....


9 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of another community
on May 23, 2019 at 11:36 am

There is an education code that dictates what must occur in terms of punishment. We know that many students in the district have been suspended because of vaping. I would have to think that trespassing and destroying school property would merit a higher punishment, i.e. expulsion. The decision lies fully in the hands of our superintendent and the current PMS principal. If the kids responsible aren't punished properly, it's on PUSD leadership. I personally don't want to see children this out of control sharing classrooms with kids that are doing the right thing. Without true consequences, this pattern of behavior will increase. It is doing a disservice to these youth to not let this take the standard course with the PD. At the bare minimum, they should be enrolled in some type of Juvenile diversion program, that if not completed would lead to additional repercussions. They don't need to sweep the school, they need to tour Santa Rita Jail, work in soup kitchens, complete mandatory counseling sessions. It's not too late to help turn things around for these kids.


8 people like this
Posted by Nobody
a resident of Downtown
on May 23, 2019 at 12:42 pm

Wow, some of you *adults * are out of control. I mean that literally. You can get (unintelligent) people all worked up with your extreme views. I think you’re forgetting that we’re talking about children that haven’t finished developing yet.
I don’t want to get attacked for not having all the information. So tell me there’s more than these kids destroying a cement garbage container. I am NOT AT ALL condoning what they’ve done. They should be held accountable. But now, I guess that depends on your definition. Some of you -like Michael Austin want their entire lives negatively effected forever. For an immature destructive impulse they couldn’t resist. Children have trouble resisting their impulses. You would know that Michael if you had any children. I’m going to assume you don’t have children by your crazy, over the top reaction to their vandalism.
Michael is not the only one here that’s lost their mind. Some of you are ridiculous. Expulsion??? I’ll assume you people haven’t had any child in local schools for some time now.
There are too many issues to address with you people. I believe you guys are irresponsible to say it was a “violent act”? You so called adults are are actually name calling these children. They’re not entitled punks or thugs, they’re kids. Grow up please.
Again, I’m not condoning their actions. They should be punished. Pay restitution, maybe probation for first offenders.
Don’t you think it’s shameful, that if any of these kids or their families read these post, they might think all of us normal people in town might think like the few extremists here.


17 people like this
Posted by Kids
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 23, 2019 at 2:03 pm

Yes, they are kids. But these kids went out in the middle of the night on a Tuesday night to destroy property. Where are the parents? Do you know that your kids are out in the middle of the night destroying property? I am appalled that anyone would even suggest a fundraiser. The parents are responsible for these kids - to know where they are and what they are doing. The parents need to pay the restitution and the kids should be doing community work at a bare minimum.


26 people like this
Posted by VHParent
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 23, 2019 at 2:24 pm

Am I understanding things correctly.?! Some punk kids destroy school property and rather than holding the parents/students accountable, the district is going to handle the manner “in house” and a fundraiser will be set up to help with repairs?!

This is why parents like myself have no faith in PUSD. I agree with Parent that there needs to be more severe consequences. I’m not saying to make an example out of the students, but the punishment needs to fit the crime. Community service is not enough!! If my child broke into the school and destroyed school property, I’d hope there would be fitting consequences so my child would learn from the experience. Better now than when they are older and can be tried as adults and end up in jail.

My child will be attending PMS for middle school and between the vaping and out of control kids, I’m concerned. Clearly PBIS isn’t working and there needs to be a new behavior system put in place.


24 people like this
Posted by VHParent
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 23, 2019 at 2:41 pm

Nobody- You are dilusuonal. Sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night and breaking into a school with the intent to destroy property is not due to impulsivity or immaturity. Clearly it was planned and those kids had every intention of creating havoc.

I hope the students who were caught and their parents read these comments and maybe they will wake up and realize they are more than just immature kids. I truly hope they get the help they need and the parents start being more involved in their kid’s lives.

These are not extreme views... We are just community members that don’t want our children to live in a place where acting like thugs or punks is acceptable without punishment.


15 people like this
Posted by Robin Taggart
a resident of Laguna Vista
on May 23, 2019 at 3:49 pm

My niece attends Pleasanton Middle School. She is in 6th grade and she told me about the vandalism before it hit the newspaper. I was very disappointed in their behavior and as an educator I believe each one of these students should be help accountable for the damage. That includes the parents.

I am a single mother who raised 3 boys in this town(Dad lives out of state) and I would make them pay back every dime of the damage if they did this type of vandalism. I work 3 jobs to make ends meet too. I would be unbelievably embarrassed if they did the type of vandalism.

I don't care how good you think these students are they need to know now that what they did was extremely bad, and they need consequences. I teach high school and if you don't scare teens in middle school who knows what they could do in the future.

Come on people....no fundraiser..... community service.... go visit Santa Rita..... Have they do manual labor over the summer!!! Make these students learn a lesson.

I also go back to the students who vandalized Amador years ago. They had to pay for everything!!!


16 people like this
Posted by wow
a resident of Downtown
on May 23, 2019 at 4:26 pm

A fundraiser to pay for the damages? Absolutely embarrassing work from the district yet again...


15 people like this
Posted by Jake Waters
a resident of Birdland
on May 24, 2019 at 9:41 am

Jake Waters is a registered user.

I know many of you commented on this: A crime report was filed with the Pleasanton Police Department, which told the Weekly that “school administrators are handling the vandalism investigation at this point.”

So they are interviewing witnesses, suspects, and collecting evidence? Apparently this isn’t going to court, because anything they do will not have much credibility. Chain of evidence issues? Statements made? This smells of Parkland where the Broward County SO was hands off to allow the school to do there own counseling, intervention, and suspension. No one went to jail.

Can anyone explain further of what is going on here?


10 people like this
Posted by Enough PUSD
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2019 at 2:59 pm

PUSD is going to once again sweep it under the carpet until it goes away. They will do a fundraiser and raise the money to replace the damages and the parents will walk away smiling and there will be no consequences for these kids - just a welcome to high school, boys!


6 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 24, 2019 at 4:32 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

The paper trail will follow these young people to the high schools. I don’t believe sending the students out of the district will resolve their behavior. If they are laughing, then neither the parents nor the district are doing their jobs.


12 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 24, 2019 at 7:16 pm

@Nobody:

Anonymous posters have no credibility.
If you want to tangle with me, identify yourself, I will debate the issue with you, here, on this forum.


6 people like this
Posted by Michael Dallas
a resident of Carriage Gardens
on May 24, 2019 at 8:00 pm

Name yourselves, O cowardly ones, and fight me! Fight me with names! I will wield my name in this gladiatorial ring of the Pleasanton Weekly Town Square forum and defeat you with identity! Are you not entertained? Look upon my abs and despair! Also, everyone should go to jail and school board members should be chained to their seats. Grrrrawwwr!!!!


6 people like this
Posted by pope john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2019 at 8:13 pm

Nobody,
"chilfren have trouble resisting impulses".
Okay, I am beginning to understsnd, the destroyed property was covered with pizza and milk shakes.


7 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 24, 2019 at 8:36 pm

We should deport them, min 1yr in el savador and the girst deserving el savadorian family gets their spot in the us. After 1yr. They can apply to return


4 people like this
Posted by Just Say No
a resident of Downtown
on May 25, 2019 at 6:57 pm

Just say "NO" to this fundraiser!!!


2 people like this
Posted by Nobody
a resident of Downtown
on May 26, 2019 at 1:01 pm

Michael Austin- if you want to debate me, first I need your address, phone number and a copy of last years tax returns.
Until then, you have no credibility.


6 people like this
Posted by Somebody
a resident of Downtown
on May 26, 2019 at 6:00 pm

Nobody, you are simply that...NOBODY!


1 person likes this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 26, 2019 at 6:18 pm

Somebody stop being a Nobody.
Michael Austin stop cyber bullying. You cant force people to identify, especially in today's society- i can associate with anything i want. Tomorrow im going to be an apple.


2 people like this
Posted by pope john
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 26, 2019 at 6:27 pm

Michael Austin will be Michael Austin tomorrow and everyday thereafter!


6 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 26, 2019 at 7:18 pm

Pleasanton Parent:

Acknowledged, tomorrow you are an apple!


Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 26, 2019 at 9:59 pm

Michael, very progressive of you


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood

on May 27, 2019 at 4:31 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


9 people like this
Posted by Mom
a resident of Castlewood Heights
on Jun 5, 2019 at 4:12 pm

I believe about 5-6 years ago there was a similar situation at Harvest Park with kids vandalizing the library. Those students were caught and their PARENTS were held responsible for the damages. No fundraiser was provided by the school to help pay for the damages. Those students were also 8th graders that were soon to be freshman and they were not allowed to be on any high school campus after 3:00pm Nor were they allowed to participate in any sports during the first semester of freshman year of high school. Where is the discipline of these current students?? They are not going to learn anything from their bad behavior if this just gets swept under the rug (which it appears to be). The students broke into the campus by climbing over a fence and then vandalizing school property . Why is this being treated like it’s no big deal ? Discipline only happens to some students and for other students everyone looks the other way ? I believe Pleasanton unified school district needs to deal with this in an appropriate manner and I don’t think holding a fundraiser is quite cutting it ! I’m afraid you’re going to start seeing more and more of this behavior as more and more kids get away with bad behavior with little to no discipline .


10 people like this
Posted by MamaX
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2019 at 5:59 am

MamaX is a registered user.

[Removed because it was unconfirmed] Boys were at baseball not even a week after it happened calling their classmates [names] and laughing about how they were all upset about what these kids did. The parent of one said how suspension was like a Vaca and they sat and watched Netflix together. Those entitled punks vandalized the school twice in one week and they had mommy and daddy pay for it with no recourse for their actions. They have punk 6th graders who's mom works for the dad who paid it all off, giving praise. Double check who is your account in town because this dad is a man child and his children will never know any different.


3 people like this
Posted by Baffled
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2019 at 6:46 pm

Still baffled that there are no real consequences for these 4 boys. Yes, they missed 8th grade promotion, the dance and Six Flags, but they should not be able to participate in football, baseball and basketball at Amador. At a minimum, their loss of school privileges should continue. They should have been sent to juvenile hall. Then they may have actually learned a lesson for their actions.


3 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 9, 2019 at 8:23 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

Baffled,
If we let felons from other countries commit murder in public daylight why on earth would we criminalize teenagers of destruction to public property?


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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