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Three Malverne Students Suspected in Graffiti Incident

Schools chief says district is handling the matter internally.

The discovered on the grounds last week is believed to be the handiwork of three students.

Surveillance cameras located on the property were "helpful" in identifying the suspects allegedly responsible for the vandalism reported on June 12 at the high school's new sports complex and the building itself, according to Superintendent James Hunderfund.

However, Dr. Hunderfund could not reveal the names of the three students.

"The law requires us to handle things according to the rights of individual students," he told Patch Monday. "We've complied with the law by reporting the incident to police, but we are constrained from reporting the names of students."

Both Malverne and Nassau County Police were called in to investigate the vandalism discovered last Tuesday morning by members of the district's facilities staff.

"We did give the police what we could," Dr. Hunderfund said, adding that right now, the district is "dealing with [the students] internally" through superintendent hearings.

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The district's policy on this matter does require them to seek remuneration for the damage that was caused by the graffiti, which was spray-painted on the track that surrounds the newly installed turf field, the new press box, soccer field, the back wall of the high school building itself, a small pump house nearby and some vehicles.

"We process to the extent of the law to recover damages and to bill the parties who are responsible," Hunderfund told the public at the June 12 Board of Education meeting in response to a resident's inquiry. "Every effort will be made to recoup any loss of property damage or repairs from the people who are convicted of the crime."

The graffiti included obscene messages, mostly targeting members of the high school administration, according to school officials. Although maintenance crews got to work as soon as possible last Tuesday to remove the graffiti, scrubbing it with cleaners and washing it with steam, Hunderfund said the district is "still working on it."

"We're trying to do the best restoration job possible," he said. "Right now, we're just making sure it's not visible but down the road we may have to do some more work to put it in tip top shape."

Tom Grech June 19, 2012 at 11:07 AM
Get every dime you have to including future restitution in the event the damage can't be repaired and parts have to be torn out. What a bunch of dirtbags; whoever they are!
Theresa M. June 19, 2012 at 12:23 PM
"We're trying to do the best restoration job possible," he said. "Right now, we're just making sure it's not visible but down the road we may have to do some more work to put it in tip top shape." The damaged portion of the feild should be removed and restored back to it's orginal condition immediately. The students or their familes should have to pay for all of the damages - period.
Sean Patrick Brennan June 19, 2012 at 01:20 PM
I hope community service will be a big part of their punishment. They may still not like certain people, but it's important they learn that damaging property and hurting the community will not be tolerated. By doing community service for Malverne, they will learn what a great town we have and how drastically off their behavior has been. And if they had a genuine beef with the administration, there are legal and social action ways to fix the problem if they were genuinely innocent of whatever issue they were retaliating against. To cause this kind of mischief though is to only reaffirm whatever judgments had been previously made about them.
Jan Kasal June 19, 2012 at 01:54 PM
I am really glad it's handled internally. And I also agree a school (not Malverne) service is the best solution. There are plenty of bottle cups on the field, garbage around the premises, sort the books in the library, simply land of unlimited opportunities.
Tom Grech June 19, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Wrong, wrong, wrong....stop coddling and push to have the law and punishment upheld....this project cost millions. When it comes to destruction of private or public, no one cares about someone's "beef" with anyone. Mischief is toilet paper in trees; this was not mischief.
Sean Patrick Brennan June 19, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Tom, I agree that the law needs to be employed here too. But why not add community service to their punishment too, that's all my point was.
An Old Friend June 19, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Am I reading this correctly??? School officials know the names of the students who vandalized the new field, yet by law, they have to just sit back and HOPE the police are able to figure out the names of these individuals who broke the law by vandalizing the field? What kind of craziness is this?? I'm sure I am just reading this wrong.
Tara Conry (Editor) June 19, 2012 at 03:16 PM
No they are choosing to discipline them themselves instead of turning them over to the authorities at this time.
Highlander June 19, 2012 at 05:02 PM
What If These kids were graduating seniors? How do you solve that internally? They've graduated, received their diploma, passed their regents...Turn them over to the law.
Rocco J. Mirro June 19, 2012 at 05:32 PM
I'm sure the parents are real proud of these punks! They should release names and faces of these kids.
jack richards June 19, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Internally? What right does the school have to handle crimes? The crime was against the people of the state, not the school. I am personally tired of the liberal school system protecting the names of criminals. Have the NCPD handle the matter and prosecute the animals to the fullest extent of the law. Then maybe this kind of stuff wont repeat. The schools have trouble educating and now they want to try their hand at police work???
sally June 19, 2012 at 08:32 PM
The resident taxpayers should DEMAND they be turned over to the police. SEveral years ago Valley stream North High School had a bunch of students vandalize school property on Senior prank day. Some of it was mischief, maple syrup feathers etc. Another bunch did tar. The superintendent at the time pulled no punches, all were arrested by NCPD, those over 18 spent the night in the 5th precinct. PArents of those involved were financially responsible for the cost of the repairs, not the tax payers. The school district acted appropriately, it has never happened again. Malverne school district is run by the students. Malverne school district residents should NOT foot the bill for clean up. Thankfully my tax dollars do not go to support the incompetence in Malverne district's administration.
Eric O June 19, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Malverne needs an education!! These punks will never be punished. They are seniors and football players and protected by the board president and her coaches. No charges will be filed and Malverne gets stuck with a defaced property looking like fools. The traces of graffiti are still there and will stay there because insurance won't cover full replacement and the board president will protect her boyz. She's a joke and she's making a fool out of us. These schools are a joke. Next time some low life kid does the same thing they won't be able to touch them either. Millions of dollars and these losers get away with a suspension. Your all jackasses-not mules!
Concerned Resident June 20, 2012 at 03:36 AM
Maybe those involved have connections in the district!! Who knows?? Smells like a cover up. If seniors they shouldn't participate in graduation or be allowed on school grounds. The students run this district. There is no control and administrators seemed to have thrown in the towel and given up. The students must be charged like they were in VS. The courts must decide their punishment and whether they are guilty.
Stephen Canzoneri June 20, 2012 at 06:19 AM
You'd think that when making more money that the vice president, Dr. Hunderfund would make a better decision. I'm highly insulted by this whole process right from the get-go. I respect the district's decision not to release the names to the press, but they should be criminally prosecuted for that they did. If you don't teach children lessons early in life, they will keep doing it with the assumption that they'll always get away with it. This is just wrong. I really hope that our school board can jump into this matter by overruling the superintendent's decision and referring everything to the authorities.
peter fehn June 21, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Kids talk.....the name will come out in due time......
peter fehn June 21, 2012 at 01:56 AM
And as soon as I hear the names I will post them here in bold letters !!!!!
Mocha22 June 23, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Once the suspects are identified and found guilty, I hope their photos and names are on this site,as well as in Newsday and any other local publication. The taxpayers need to hold the administration presumably, Dr. Hunderfund, accountable also.
Tom Grech June 24, 2012 at 03:45 PM
While our obscene graffiti pales in comparison to the kind of physical altercation from the following; my point is why are they prosecuting in RVC and why is Malverne handling our issue "internally"? http://rockvillecentre.patch.com/articles/update-two-sshs-seniors-arrested-for-roxen-road-gang-assault
Todd Hundley August 27, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Was this swept under the rug? It doesn't seem to be on the agenda of the school board meetings. I think the residents have a right to know that state of the grounds that we all pay the upkeep for, and for the status of those students who were pointed out on camera & questioned. Why are these students being protected internally?

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