As many as 100 teens ran wild following Glen Rock High School’s graduation, stopping train service, damaging an event area and stealing a statue of the school mascot, authorities said.
The panther statue “was returned to our campus after a gracious parent put out the call for a return,” Principal Michael Parent said.
It was destroyed, however, the principal said in an email to the parents of school seniors.
Parent called the rampage a “disgraceful act” that he said was “committed by our own students.
"To say that I am heartbroken is an understatement,” he added.
CLICK HERE for a video of the destruction.
The trouble began following a “Grad Ball” staged by parents on school grounds after Thursday’s graduation.
From 3 a.m. through daybreak Friday, officers “came across numerous large groups of juveniles, perhaps as many as 100, gathered at various locations throughout the borough,” Police Chief Dean Ackerman said Monday.
“At one point assistance had to be gained from New Jersey Transit to stop train traffic on the Bergen County line railroad when a group gathered on the train tracks,” the chief said.
“Juveniles were dispersed from the various areas that they were gathering in if circumstances permitted the three officers on duty to do so,” he added.
Sometime around 5:30 a.m., vandals struck.
Folding chairs on the field where the graduation ceremonies were held were knocked over, planters were smashed and the panther statue was stolen, the chief said.
“Since this time, several concerned citizens have contacted the detective bureau with information,” Ackermann said.
An investigation was continuing and those responsible will be dealt with, he said.
Parent, meanwhile, said he hopes that “those who are aware of the perpetrators of the vandalism will speak to their parents and confide in them” and that the parents, in turn, will notify police.
“All of us at GRHS know that the actions of a very few are not representative of the whole,” the principal added. “My hope is that by notifying the high school community of this despicable act will spurn a conversation about the collective responsibility we all have to caring for the school and school property.”
Anyone with information, video or other images that could help determine who was responsible was asked to contact Detective Sgt. James Calaski at (201) 670-3948 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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