Kids cause $30,000 in damage after breaking into Maine school, authorities say

Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 9:29 PM MST
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LEWISTON, Maine (WGME) - Police say a group of cousins, ranging in age from 8 to 12 years old, broke into a Maine school and caused up to $30,000 in damage.

The incident happened Saturday night at Longley School in Lewiston, according to Lewiston Public Schools Superintendent Jake Langlais.

Langlais says the group of seven boys and girls didn’t seem to have any specific target. They wrecked three rooms, scattering supplies everywhere, damaging medical mannequins and more. The teachers are devastated.

“All the hours they put into that work and the materials they acquired, all damaged,” Langlais said.

Authorities say the children caused between $20,000 and $30,000 in damage. They allegedly used some kind of tool to break into a back window of the building, according to police.

“It seems like supervision is an issue,” said Lewiston School Committee Chair Megan Parks. “And when kids that young aren’t supervised, they find ways to entertain themselves.”

The school district is setting up a disciplinary hearing for the children, who are all students in the district, the superintendent says.

“Students going before the school committee could be sent back to school, they could be long-term suspended or they could be expelled,” Langlais said.

Police are also referring the case to the district attorney for potential criminal charges.

“These kids are going to grow up, and I’m hoping they learn and become better people out of it,” parent Phillip Noe said. “But seeing this, it’s just insane.”

Parks is calling for a look at security at the school building, and Langlais says they’ve been looking for funding to do more.

In June 2022, a different group of vandals damaged the school, causing more than $100,000 worth of damage.