PRETTY PRAIRIE, Kan. — Law enforcement authorities and school officials are investigating vandalism at Pretty Prairie High School.
Many instruments were damaged or destroyed in the school’s music room over the weekend, according to the school’s social media page.
Vandals threw paint on pianos, destroyed music instruments and caused extensive damage to that area of the building.
“We just got permission from the sheriff’s department and from our insurance agency to start the cleanup process and then start the inventory of what’s broken, what’s not, what can be repaired, what can’t,” USD 311 Superintendent Randy Hendrickson said. “Hopefully our goal by the end of the day is to have a list of what we need to get back into the kids’ hands so we can get back to normal as quickly as possible.”
While the music room was off limits, music classes were moved to the school’s auditorium. Area schools have sent emails and calls of support in an effort to help. Burrton USD 369 is working to provide students in Pretty Prairie with replacement instruments. They have also volunteered to help restore the school’s music room.
Once the damage was discovered, Hendrickson sought help from Burrton Superintendent Joan Simoneau, who is also an avid musician and band director. “I consider Joan Simoneau a friend and a colleague. I called Joan, told her what happened. She immediately went to work,” Hendrickson said.
Simoneau, who is also director of the Hutchinson Municipal Band, has been able to draw on her resources to find assistance for Pretty Prairie. “Years ago, with a group of band directors, we kind of started a Yahoo group with just band directors in the south-central part of the state,” Simoneau said. “I just shot out a quick email to let them know quickly that something was going on and we were going to need help.”
If you would like to help the Pretty Prairie music department, call Pretty Prairie High School at 620-459-6313 or the USD 311 offices at 620-459-6241.