Vandals chop down 17 trees at elementary school

KINGSTON, Wash. -- School administrators are scratching their heads after more than a dozen small trees were chopped down to the ground – and what’s worse, all the trees were planted by little kids as part of a beautification project.

 The vandals struck last weekend at Richard Gordon Elementary School in Kingston.

“It used to be so beautiful but now it’s just plain,” second-grade student Quinn Turla said Thursday.

School officials discovered that someone with an ax or hatchet chopped down 17 trees over the winter break – and all the vandals left were pointy stumps sticking right out of the ground.

“People must have worked really hard to do that and now they’re all gone by tree bullies,” said Quinn.

School officials estimate the damage at around $5,000.

The most glaring concern for principal Rachel Osborn is that someone would even bother to take all the time to cut down so many trees.

“To not just cut one or two trees but 17 trees it’s very intentional,” said Osborn. “It’s very malicious, it had to take a significant amount of time. That level of maliciousness is very concerning to our community.”

Osborn has a message to whoever is responsible for the pointless act of destruction.

“I would like them to imagine themselves looking into the face of that one teacher they had when they were little and explain why they would do something like this to a bunch of kids,” Osborn said.

The PTA is planning a fundraiser to not only replace the trees -- but they’re also talking about finding ways to pay for and install security cameras on campus.