Vandals target Scottsdale school

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

SCOTTSDALE Ariz. -- Vandals did thousands of dollars of damage to a Scottsdale school over Memorial Day weekend.

Parents said glue was found all over the front of Sonoran Sky Elementary School near Scottsdale Road and Sweetwater Avenue Tuesday morning. When parents went to investigate, they found the brand-new outdoor classroom space in the back almost destroyed by fire.

"I hope it gets rebuilt and the person that did it gets caught so they can't do any more damage," said third-grade student Jayden Johnson.

Jayden and his mother, Ilana, are in disbelief that the outdoor classroom was torched.

"It's awful, I don't see the point of it," Ilana Johnson said.

"I was like, why would they do that?" Jayden said.

Parents said the fire was started sometime after Saturday evening when vandals snuck into the fenced-off classroom. Parents, teachers and students had donated money and their hard work to build the area.

"So far we've spent about $15,000," said PTO member Bianca Cords. "We've been working really heavily over the past year to create this whole outdoor garden space and classroom."

"All the kids planted the plants," Jayden said.

Scottsdale police arson investigators have gathered evidence as an accelerant was likely used on the fire-resistant composite wood.

"We're very lucky that this was all the damage that was done, that it didn't spread," Johnson said. "We rebuild and rebuild what was taken and bring it back for all the kids."

"I just hope that the person who did it learns his lesson -- to never, ever vandalize a school," Jayden said.

Parents said an anonymous person from Sonoran Sky has donated $1,000 for a reward leading to an arrest and conviction. That's in addition to a $1,000 reward from Silent Witness.

Parents believe this would have been a pretty big fire and somebody must have seen something or heard someone talking about it.