Thursday, June 6, 2002

Vandals cut trees at high school

Published in the Current

Three maple trees between the Cape Elizabeth High School and the senior parking lot were cut down on the night of May 27 in an action school Principal Jeff Shedd called “ugly.”

“Somebody vandalized the school in a very ugly and meanspirited way,” he said.

The maples were planted in the late 1960s and 1970s, and were cut off a couple of feet above the ground by a handsaw, leaving stumps about 10 inches across.

The trees were left there. “I came in Tuesday morning and there were three trees on the ground,” Shedd said.

Town workers have since cut the stumps off level with the ground and removed the trees.

Shedd said school staffers were alarmed by the vandalism, and students were too.

“As a whole, the student body is as horrified about it as the adult population,” Shedd said.

Students are raising money, he said, to replace the trees, and the senior class may make the replacement their class gift.

Detective Paul Fenton said there are no suspects in the case, but said he continues to investigate it. He encouraged anyone with information on the incident to call police.

Several people told the Current one or more of the trees were in memory of people, but school officials said that was not true.

Plaques can be found at the base of two trees on the high school campus, said Superintendent Tom Forcella. No plaques are near the sites of the trees that were cut down.