Buses vandalized at Somers school; classes canceled

Joe Torres Image
Monday, January 4, 2016
School buses vandalized in Somers
Joe Torres has the story.

SOMERS, New York (WABC) -- Classes were cancelled Monday for students in a Westchester County district after more than 20 school buses were damaged by vandals overnight.

Instead of driving kids to and from school, bus company workers in Somers spent the day repairing windshields and replacing tires. About half of the district's 60 buses were damaged, and that forced administrators to cancel classes for 3,200 students.

"There is also an additional 40 or so sites that we transport students to private and parochial schools," said Matthew Carr, director of human resources and student services for the Somers School District. "So it had a pretty big impact on our families within the district."

Only a handful of staff members reported to the district's four schools after administrators learned about the damage around 6:15 a.m. They quickly sent an email alert to parents.

"If I had to be at work today, it would have been very inconvenient trying to find child care coverage and things like that," mom Eileen Fullerton said. "It is difficult."

The buses haven't been used in quite some time thanks to the winter break, but investigators are confident the vandalism happened around 11 p.m. Sunday, thanks to surveillance video.

"Right now, it's several counts of criminal mischief," New York State Police Investigator Joe Becerra said. "Obviously, there will be felony charges based on the amount of damage done to the buses and the cost to repair those buses."

Monday would have been the first day of classes in the new year, and sixth grader Jasmine Harris just transferred to the district from Hartsdale.

"I was so pumped about going here," she said. "So O'm just going to go tomorrow."

That's the plan for everyone, according to district leaders, who say all the repairs should be wrapped up sometime Monday night.