Police: Children destroy computer lab at Kansas City school - KCTV5 News

Police: Children destroy computer lab at Kansas City elementary school

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Eight children were taken into custody after they caused extensive damage inside a Kansas City elementary school, police said Tuesday night.

The computer lab was destroyed at shuttered Weeks Elementary School, an officer said. All the computer monitors were smashed onto the floor, Officer Michael Holsworth said. Classroom televisions and other computer equipment were also destroyed.

Paint from jugs in the art room was poured throughout the school, Holsworth said. Chairs were tossed through some windows.

Altogether, the damage is estimated at $25,000.

The five boys and three girls range in age from 9 years old to 15 years old. The Jackson County Family Court announced Wednesday that second-degree burglary and felony vandalism charges have been filed in juvenile court against seven children.

Police said they were called to the school at 41st Street and Indiana Avenue at 7:12 p.m. when someone in the area heard an alarm sounding.

When officers arrived, they observed the children running away. Officers then apprehended the youngsters.

Weeks and Martin Luther King Jr. K-8 School were combined into one school last year because of the district's school consolidation plan. District officials said the vandalism did not disrupt classes.

"Much of the school has already been cleaned up," district spokeswoman Eileen Houston-Stewart said. "It is in the hands of the police."

Houston-Stewart didn't explain why expensive equipment was left inside an unused school.

But some taxpayers are upset that thousands of dollars in computer equipment was sitting in empty classrooms. One of those upset is Florine Shaw, whose 12-year-old son was among those detained Tuesday night.

"I hope the kids learned a valuable lesson and on their weekends, they should be down here cleaning up the school they messed up," Shaw said.

Shaw said her son made a mistake.

"He was with the wrong crowd and just wanted to have some fun," she said. "And then went into the school and vandalized the school."

Shaw said her son's experience in the back of a police paddy wagon made a big impression on him.

"He was like, 'I don't ever want to do that again, Mama. I'm sorry. I thought I was never gonna see you again,'" Shaw recounted.

Copyright 2011 KCTV. All rights reserved.

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