Five Points of Vandalism

A homecoming poster, from October, vandalized with a pentagram symbol. Although recently discovered throughout the school, the pentagrams began earlier in the year.

Photo Credit: Lilia Wood

A homecoming poster, from October, vandalized with a pentagram symbol. Although recently discovered throughout the school, the pentagrams began earlier in the year.

by Beth Keefe, Staff Writer

“We have noticed that a pentagram has been carved into one the table tops in the Senior Lounge.  Additionally, outside in the courtyard, another pentagram was drawn on one of the gray tables there.  Those on duty, please heighten your awareness and if you hear anything as to whom may be doing this, please let us know,”  read an email sent to the staff of Glen Rock High School on April 29, 2014 from Principal Arlotta, regarding vandalism spotted throughout the school.

As of May 6, 2014, there have been numerous spottings of this questionable drawing.

A pentagram is a five-pointed star that is formed by drawing a continuous line in five straight segments, often used as a mystic and magical symbol.

A spanish mask with multiple pentagrams drawn on it. (Photo Credit: Beth Keefe)

“Our director of maintenance saw it over the weekend, so I’d say about a week ago we saw it,” said Principal Arlotta.

The two pentagrams that were first found were located in the Senior Lounge carved into the top of one of the wooden tables, and one in the courtyard drawn onto one of the gray tables.

“I did do some investigating because then obviously we were gonna start looking at cameras,” said Mr. Arlotta, “but, in talking to some of the students, they said it had been there maybe a week before that person saw it and that makes it a lot more difficult to find the time frame.”

We have a couple of hunches but nothing that is purely documented; it’s still a work in progress.”

— Mr. John Arlotta, School Principal

Many students and faculty have questioned if the drawings are offensive because it is vandalism or because of its meaning.

Principal Arlotta expressed concern, however, “primarily because its vandalism, especially because, I’m going to take this one personally, when I got here, the senior lounge was really [a] hodgepodge of furniture that people got second hand from a garage sale and stuff like that.”

Unfortunately, the tables that are currently in the Senior Lounge are no longer in stock from the store in which they were purchased. They cannot be replaced.

“[The furniture] was falling apart, so I worked with the Grad ball people who had money left over, and they donated all of these nice tables that almost made it look a little bit like a café,” said Mr. Arlotta. “We made the decision to put these types of tables in there, but, honestly, it’s disappointing when someone does something like that.”

The mysterious pentagram written on a desk with an eraser. (Photo Credit: Beth Keefe)

As for who may have done it, Mr. Arlotta is still searching for the vandal. He said, “Right now what we’re doing is we’re going through video, talking to students, this and that. We have a couple of hunches but nothing that is purely documented; it’s still a work in progress.”

Mr. Arlotta of course has put in a lot of work into finding who it is.

“I talked to a lot of students especially seniors since it’s the Senior Lounge. I talked to some of the seniors I know well,” said Mr. Arlotta.

I want them to be as equally upset as I am about these things.”

— Mr. John Arlotta, School Principal

“Basically what we really want to try to have here is, it’s not me against you, it’s a collective pride in the school. So I want them to be as equally upset as I am about these things. So really having some of the student leaders talk to their peers to keep a look out and if they see anything either, A. be proactive and stop it or to B. let us know,” he said. “That is really some of the measures we use and, in other words, group discipline… It can’t just be one person that’s gonna be able to do all these things. We have to all be on the same page.”