‘It got way out of hand’: Sydney-area residents outraged over vandalism spree
Published Monday, September 11, 2017 2:10PM ADT
Last Updated Tuesday, September 12, 2017 8:54AM ADT
Residents of two Cape Breton communities are expressing outrage about what many are calling a high school rivalry gone too far.
Cape Breton Regional Police were called to Coxheath, N.S. Saturday morning after a number of roads, a train trestle, and properties were sprayed with graffiti.
Vulgar and offensive graffiti covers an area roughly a kilometre in length near Riverview High School.
"I was really angry,” says Grade 12 Riverview student Kathryn MacIsaac. “I thought it was ridiculous."
The graffiti included insults toward students at Riverview High School, which has had a longstanding rivalry with Sydney Academy. Coxheath residents say students from both schools have painted the trestle over the years, but this year they went too far.
Residents were also upset to see at least one swastika painted on a road.
"It's just fun to paint the trestle back and forth, but when you write Nazi signs all over the parking lot, that's not even our property. It's just too much," says Grade 12 Riverview student Abby Jackson.
Some students from Sydney Academy spent the weekend trying to clean up the mess, calling the messages “embarrassing.”
"it got way out of hand,” says Grade 12 Sydney Academy student Mikayla MacDonald. “Now our whole school has a really bad name. It's not fair for us."
Local resident Steve Smith says this should be the last straw.
"They spray-painted everything from the school to Burger King,” Smith says. “I don't understand why they would do that, or what that has to do with promoting your school or school spirit."
Kevin Deveaux, the principal of Sydney Academy, declined to comment on the matter, calling it "a community and policing issue."
Police were at both schools Monday reminding students that this is vandalism and illegal.
"Our school liaison officers are reaching out to students today and throughout this week to speak about the behaviours that happened over the weekend,” says Cape Breton Regional Police spokesperson Desiree Vassallo. ‘To educate them on the legalities associated with these types of behaviours, and the importance of preventing it."
The Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board refused to comment on the matter.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ryan MacDonald.