For the second year in a row, property at Shawnee Mission East high school was vandalized the night before the basketball game between SM East and SM South.
Students and staff at the school on Friday morning found that storage sheds adjacent to the football practice field had been spray painted with racial, political and sexual messages, including swastikas. Maintenance staff quickly began work covering the graffiti. Students reported that some cars had been hit with paintballs, as well.
Prairie Village police were involved in the investigation of the incident, and Shawnee Mission administrators report that they have identified 8 to 10 district students who may face administrative sanctions and possibly criminal charges.
“In the Shawnee Mission District, we take property damage very seriously,” said Erin Little, Shawnee Mission Director of Communications.
Last February, SM East students found that someone had driven over the parking lot memorial build in remembrance of deceased student Tyler Rathbun the night before the game between the Lancers and the Raiders. Hoping to channel the rivalry between the two student bodies in a positive way this year, SM East and SM South had hosted a competition to see which school could raise the most supplies for charity.
Little said that the district had taken extra security precautions to ensure the games were safe for fans.
“Students safety is paramount, and although we cannot release the security measures taken for the game tonight, it will be a safe environment,” Little wrote Friday.
On Friday morning, SM South students posted a message on Twitter apologizing for the “things written and drawn on your shed.”
“We do not represent or condone these actions in any way and don’t want this to reflect the attitude of our entire school,” read the message.