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Herne Bay Infant School in Kings Road left devastated by boozed-up vandals

By Aidan Barlow

Herne Bay Infant School was left devastated by boozed-up vandals who went on the rampage just days before the start of term.

The yobs broke into the Kings Road school and left a trail of destruction behind them.

Shocked staff arrived the following morning to find beer cans scattered among broken toys, damaged musical instruments and smashed pots strewn across the playground.

Last summer teenagers were responsible for trashing Herne Bay Infant School during the holidays

The vandals had even scrawled offensive words three-feet high on the side of the building, and smeared cat poo on door handles.

Head teacher Bernadette Lax returned from her holidays and called in police forensics teams to investigate the incident.

She said: "They climbed the fence into the playground, and we've found a number of drinks cans.

"At first I thought I would take the compassionate view, that it was probably just a few bored youngsters.

“But now I've seen it I can say this is not just the boredom of teenagers. This is destruction – it's absolutely nuts. It's so demoralising for the staff."

Herne Bay Infant School head teacher Bernadette Lax described the destruction as "absolutely nuts"

The school's business manager, Georgie Edwards, said youngsters had been climbing the fence from Arkley Road and running away if challenged by adults.

Reception teacher Jess Bishopp said: "I have been in for my whole holiday to work around the school. I just don’t get why somebody would do this."

Ms Lax said she did not want a purely punitive punishment for those responsible.

She said: "I want them to understand the consequences of what they have done.

Staff cleared up the school ready for the start of term

"I would like to understand why, so it doesn't happen again.

"We will put it right. But I would like to give them the opportunity for restorative justice to do something for us to put it right.

"Our staff have been in during the summer holidays to work hard making the school ready. That includes two new members who are only due to start working here in September."

PC Sarah Scurfield is investigating the incident and said a 13-year-old boy was arrested on the night of the vandalism.

Bernadette Lax and Reception teacher Jess Bishop survey the damage

She added: "We have names of other outstanding suspects in the group and we are looking to talk to them.

"We have got witnesses to the incident who saw the group going in and saw what happened, but if anyone else saw anything or has names of those involved they can also contact us."

Anyone with information should call PC Scurfield on 07870 252308, quoting reference number ZY/22-0266.

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