Cleaners start cleaning up the mess left behind by vandals, who spray painted words, symbols and male anatomy parts all over Monkland State School.
Cleaners start cleaning up the mess left behind by vandals, who spray painted words, symbols and male anatomy parts all over Monkland State School. Renee Pilcher

Holiday vandals spray school

YOU can tell it is school holidays, there are kids playing in the park, hanging out down the main street and there is more vandalism at Gympie schools.

The latest involves more than 20 different tags and symbols sprayed over Monkland State School - cleaners found it yesterday morning.

On the weekend, ahead of Monday's holiday start, youths broke into Gympie Central School.

That could have ended in disaster as toilet paper was strewn around a classroom and set alight.

Officer in charge of the Gympie District Criminal Investigation Branch, acting Senior Sergeant Nigel Bull, said it was a "pretty gutless act".

SNR Sgt Bull said he was referring to the fact that state schools had limited budgets and with extra cleaning costs students' educations could be affected.

He said vandalism at Gympie schools stepped up every holiday period.

"We plan for that, but we can't be there all the time," he said.

The police needed help from the community, he said, to keep watch on schools.

"There have been two incidents in a week. Luckily only minor damage from the fire," he said.

Yesterday's graffiti job was thought to have been painted overnight on Tuesday.

Black and purple paint is now marking a number of locations through the school, including walls, tables, sinks and lights.

Scenes of Crime officers photographed images from male anatomy parts to symbols and words including "dog", "sup" and "skin".

Even a mural of Steve Irwin was not safe - cleaners hoped their graffiti remover and mineral turpentine would not destroy it.

And the school's dental van was targeted.

Snr Sgt Bull said if anyone had noticed youths with black and purple spray paint they should call police. Or if anyone found empty cans they should not touch them and call police immediately.

If you have any information about the recent acts of vandalism in Gympie schools, phone Gympie police on 5480 1111 or CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000.