TOWN OF CRAWFORD – A 16-year-old Pine Bush High School boy was arrested and charged with criminal mischief and making graffiti for painting inappropriate images on the outside cafeteria wall last Friday that included a swastika. Superintendent Joan Carbone said late Monday night that three students were involved in the incident and all have been suspended.
The arrested youth, whose name police did not make public, must appear in Crawford Town Court next month.
Town Police Chief Dominick Blasko termed the youth’s actions stupid.
“Ignorance and just making bad decisions. We went through the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and charged the 16-year-old male with criminal mischief and making graffiti because it’s a poor choice and then to add the inflammatory things they did just shows some ignorance,” he said.
Other images painted on the exterior wall were sexual in nature.
Blasko said the investigation into the criminal mischief is continuing.
Carbone said the vandalism was discovered on Friday afternoon. She said the district is making the school’s video surveillance system records available to the Crawford Police.
“Behavior such as this, which is disrespectful to students, teachers and staff in the district as well as the entire Pine Bush School District community, will not be tolerated,” she said. Carbone’s statement was issued through a Manhattan public relations firm.
“The three students determined responsible have received school suspensions. Any additional disciplinary action will be a discussion between District administration and the students’ families,” she said.
The graffiti was being removed as soon as possible.
Earlier this year, the Pine Bush School District settled with a group of Jewish parents whose children had been the brunt of ongoing anti-Semitism. As a result, the court had the district implement a policy of tolerance.