The proprietors of the Prospector Theater in Ridgefield are hoping that a recent vandalism incident can serve as a teachable moment for local middle school students who shattered a window in the building.
The owners of the theater took to social media to announce that investigators from the Ridgefield Police Department have identified the middle school students from the area that broke a window, though they aren’t looking to throw the book at the two teens, and instead hope they can learn from the experience.
On Friday, March 29, officers from the Ridgefield Police Department responded to the theater, where there was a report of a broken window. Using video footage from the Ridgefield Library, Gallo Restaurant, Ridgefield Supply and other local businesses, they were able to identify the teenagers involved in the criminal mischief incident.
According to police, neither the boys nor their parents have been contacted by investigators, and the owners of the Prospector Theater are hopeful that they will come forward, consequence-free, to see the impact of their actions.
“Prospects are worried about these boys,” the Facebook post read. “They must feel terrible with guilt, shame, fear. We feel sorry for them, and we want to help teach them empathy, respect, responsibility, and how to stand up for people with disabilities, not to throw rocks at us.”
The teens have been urged to come forward before the police come knocking at their doors. Officials at the Prospector Theater hope instead that they can turn it into a positive and want to discuss bullying that they may have faced in their lives.
According to officials with the theater, “students from school districts all over Connecticut and New York participate in Service Learning activities with Prospects."
“None of those town’s students would have thrown that rock. Ridgefield Schools are far behind their peer schools, with no Service Learning experiences to date, and the result is a shattered window, representing a lot more.”
On social media, the theater’s owners said that they will not be releasing photos or information regarding the teenage suspects.
“We hope you feel grateful: this is the sparkliest gift you could be offered given your actions,” they posted. “Are you afraid your parents can’t afford to pay for the damages? Don’t be. We aren’t worried about the money, we want to help you help us make a smarter and more inclusive community.”
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