NEWS

Bella Bella's only school vandalized in 2nd attack

08/24/2013 01:09 EDT | Updated 10/23/2013 05:12 EDT
Just weeks after a fire tore through Bella Bella's only grocery store and library, the remote West Coast community's only school has been badly vandalized in a senseless attack.

RCMP say surveillance footage shows a male entering the school early Friday morning and going on a rampage, smashing computers, televisions, smart boards and windows, and dumping paint on the floors and computers.

The cost of the damage is estimated to total $100,000, according to RCMP Const. Lesley Smith, and police are still trying to identify the suspect from video surveillance tapes.

The Bella Bella Community School has been undergoing reconstruction for the past year and was nearing completion, said a statement issued by Smith. It houses 170 students from kindergarten to grade 12.

It's uncertain if the school will be able to open in time for the new school year.

"It's hard to get through this. You know, I've had people, members calling this morning just really upset," said Marilyn Slett, the chief of the Heiltsuk First Nation.Slett.

Community leaders have called a meeting for Saturday to discuss what's happening with their youth, and how the community can support them.

Last month, police arrested three young girls following a devastating fire at the band store.

"As much as, you know, the destruction of the buildings is hard on our community, we would never want to see anything happen to any of the young people," said Slett.

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