Ottawa police are asking for public assistance after vandals have broken multiple windows at two north Kanata elementary schools on more than one occasion.
Georges Vanier Catholic Elementary School and W. Erskine Johnston Public School, both located on Varley Drive, have suffered “thousands of dollars” of damage, said Kanata North Coun. Marianne Wilkinson.
“We’ve had numerous broken windows,” said Const. Lori Fahey with the Kanata and Stittsville Community Police Centre. “We’ve had 30 (broken) windows in one weekend.”
The vandalism is taking place overnight, said Fahey, adding she’s encouraging people to report any suspicious activity to the police.
“In the past few months there have been several incidents of mischief to the elementary schools,” said the police release.
Fahey said the vandals would have used considerable force to break the glass.
Windows along W. Erskine Johnston’s new kindergarten wing, which opened in November, were among those broken. The school’s addition houses three junior and senior kindergarten classrooms as well as a room for a Grade 5 French immersion class.
“Several windows were broken on the south, west and north sides of the building. The portables were also damaged. The new addition was also damaged,” said principal Jennifer Shirley on the school’s webpage.
Fred Chrystal, superintendent at the Ottawa Catholic School Board, said the vandalism is a vexing problem.
"We’ve had several incidents there over time, beginning in November," he said, adding around 13 windows had been broken.
Most of the glass panes have already been replaced, but it's costly.
"We would rather spend our money where it's directed to student success, than direct it to willful damage to our schools," said Chrystal, adding having the community look out for suspicious activity really helps.
“This is a concern for the safety of all residents and the students and teachers at these schools,” said Wilkinson.
To report suspicious activity in the area:
* Call 911 for a crime in progress.
* Call 613-230-6211 to report suspicious activity.
* Call 613-236-1222 ext. 7300 with any information relating to this or any other crime.
* Call 613-233-8477 to make an anonymous report or visit crimestoppers.ca.