Painting got ‘boulder,’ so rocks at McIntosh are out

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It was not the case of a mysterious disappearance of the “senior rocks” in front of McIntosh High School that had long been “decorated” by rising seniors. It was a case of going to extremes and learning the lesson that actions have consequences.

The object of school-spirited graffiti by rising seniors and others for many years, the large rocks positioned by the north entrance to McIntosh on Walt Banks Road have been removed after the most recent incident where far more than the rocks were involved.

That act of vandalism, at least the most recent act, occurred May 19 when the junior class came to paint the rocks and got carried away, said McIntosh High School Principal Lisa Fine.

They painted the rocks, and the parts of the sidewalk, and the dumpster, and a portion of the parking lot. Accompanying the artistry were derogatory words, statements and pictures that school staff, and some in the public, found inappropriate, Fine said.

Repairing the damage amounted to an expense of $3,084.33 in materials, rental equipment and labor, Fine said, adding that the work was done prior to the May graduation ceremony.

This was not the first time over the years that McIntosh students, or perhaps those from rival high schools, had ventured beyond the pale with their works of “artistry.” But on this most recent occasion, it led Fine and others to consider that the time had come to remove the rocks.

“The decision was by the school’s leadership team and the county office that we needed to address the situation after the last act of vandalism in May. Over time, a very pleasant tradition has evolved into acts of vandalism.” Fine explained, noting that the leadership team also considered whether repairing the damage and keeping the rocks in place was tantamount to either making the defacing of property a tradition or even to promoting vandalism. “In this age of budget deficits I don’t have the dollars to (continue to) paint over inappropriate words and pictures when we could be spending the money on teaching,” said Fine.

So at this point the senior rocks will be relegated to history of McIntosh High School. As for the whereabouts of the famous rocks, Fine said they have been moved to an undisclosed location.