Templeton High School principal speaks about hate-motivated vandalism

Vandals caused thousands of dollars in damage

Templeton HS vandalism folo

TEMPLETON, Calif. - The San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Office is investigating possible hate-motivated vandalism that caused thousands of dollars of damage at Templeton High School early Saturday morning.

Deputies responded to the school at around 7:00 a.m. to find a flooded gym, flipped benches and hate symbols written on windows.

"It's just such a community, and everybody knows each other, so we're just, everybody is really torn up," says principal Eric Lewis. "This is at another level from what we have experienced in the past."

The vandals gained entrance to the gym and left a turned on garden hose on the gym floor, causing thousands of dollars of damage.

Racial slurs and swastikas were also found graffitied throughout the school. Sheriff's detectives have contacted the FBI and the incident will bed investigated as a hate crime.

 "The clear coat is coming up (on the gym floor)," said Lewis. "Usually it's more minor pranks, but the racial slurs, and the flooding of the gym, I have never seen anything like that before."

A reward is being offered through Crimestoppers to anyone who can provide information that helps track down those responsible. The vandalism and hate speech was a topic of discussion during the schools senior prom Saturday night.

"Obviously the kids knew what happened and some of them were asking about it, but the event was great and we had no problems."

Lewis plans on making an announcement about the incident Monday morning. 

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Sheriff's Detectives at (805) 781-4500. You can also report any information anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 549-7867. 

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