School Rivalry Out of Hand?

RICHLAND - Richland parent Kristianne Rogalsky doesn't like what she's seen at Richland High School.

"There's a difference between a cross-rivalry prank versus over-the-top vandalism," said Rogalsky.

Richland School District say surveillance video shows a group of masked vandals tagged Hanford High's sidewalks, bleachers, and newly-painted soccer shed - right before Friday's football game against Kamiakin.

They also identified a couple of them as Kamiakin students.

"This is the worst case I've seen here, which has been ten years." said Hanford Principal Ken Gosney.

"Some are provocative, just things that you should not say," said student Savanna Steele.

Spirit rocks are the only place to express school pride or school rivalry. Beyond that, defacing any property is considered vandalism.

"It's costing the district money, which is costing the taxpayer money to clean it up. So, we'd rather spend it in different ways," said Richland School District Communication Director Steve Aagaard.

Richland Administrators worry vandalism like this could increase because with the school's new sports league means more games against local schools. Despite that, they say there's no need to increase patrols or expect to break the budget.

Richland's district normally spends $10,00 a year to clean up vandalism. Kennewick spends $20,000. Pasco estimates its graffiti cleanup runs about $5,000 every year.

"It's unfortunate they're spending any money at all on cleaning up vandalism," said Rogalsky.

But for parents like Rogalsky - knowing that money could curb crime - and keep her daugher's campus that much safer - is a comfort.

Richland Police have not made any arrests.
They are working with Hanford High School administrators to solve the case.