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N.B. teens vow to repair vandalized school property near friends’ memorials

Click to play video: 'New Brunswick students stepping up to repair damage caused by vandals' New Brunswick students stepping up to repair damage caused by vandals
Vandals have damaged a school property near Miramichi and it's hitting close to home. As Callum Smith reports, students are getting ready to help fix the damage – Sep 22, 2021

When vandals struck Blackville School in Miramichi, N.B., this week, they did more than just disrespect the property.

Their actions were particularly hurtful because of the location of the damage.

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“I was just in complete shock,” said Grade 12 student Camden Curtis, who came across the vandalism on Tuesday.

“It was … very shocking driving by seeing that. It was very disappointing too.”

Tire marks could be seen on the front lawn of the school, where two memorials had been placed in recent years in honour of three students who had died.

One of the students was Thomas Dunn, who died in 2018 following an accident. 

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“I lost a close friend here three years back and we were just disgusted how close (the memorial) was to being hit by the people that done it,” said Curtis.

Damage is seen on the front lawn of Blackville School. Callum Smith/Global News

The school’s principal, Rodney Buggie, said the vandalism struck a chord with the entire school community.

“It was heart-wrenching for sure because the piece of property that was vandalized holds a little more than just a lawn or green space,” he said.

After the shock wore off, 18 students decided to take it upon themselves to repair the lawn — making the best of a disappointing situation.

“Everybody was just kind of shocked to see that had happened. And we were kind of just questioning why it would happen, but then the discussion kind of shifted to how can we help fix it,” said Grade 12 student Layla Hallihan.

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New Brunswick town rallies behind campaign to transform hockey arena, honour memory of dead teen – Mar 27, 2019

Teachers, staff and students will all pitch in to fix the damage this week.

Meanwhile, Buggie says police are investigating the vandalism with help from surveillance video.

“We could see the make of the truck and two individuals when (they were) outside the truck in the parking lot,” he said.

Regardless of whether the culprits are found, the graduating students are glad to be helping their community and preserving the memories of their friends.

“The people that done it should be responsible for fixing it because it’s their damage, but I’m more than happy to help out,” said Camden.

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