On the first 'paint night' when people traditionally paint a water tower and the streets some students painted a sign and the school track (which is a shitty track fyi and is being replaced soon). Many people, most particularly the cops and school admin thought this was going to far. Here is a news story on it:
It's all fun and games until someone's running track or patrol car gets painted.
"Paint Night" — that decades-old island tradition in which high school seniors slather celebratory messages on roads near the homes of classmates — has gone too far this year, say school and police officials.
Formerly confined to roads, painters this week caused thousands of dollars' worth of damage when they spread coats of white latex on the Bainbridge High School's track and the "Welcome to Bainbridge Island" sign greeting highway drivers as they cross the Agate Pass Bridge.
Police patrol cars on the lookout for late-night painters also became inadvertent victims of the tradition.
"Two of our cars had to be cleaned several times this week after they ran through fresh paint on the roads," said Bainbridge deputy police chief Mark Duncan. "We're out patrolling for this, but we've got two or three people covering 28 square miles. We're outnumbered by a lot of people who can simply hide when they see headlights coming."
As far back as the mid-1960s — and perhaps even earlier than that — island teenagers have taken to the streets with paint cans and brushes to herald the close of an era. Graduating seniors typically paint a large graduation year and name on paved areas near their friends' homes. High-traffic streets regularly receive intersection-size messages, such as "2008!" Longtime islander Patti Ritchie fondly remembers Paint Night in 1970, the year she graduated.
"Back then, we kept it to the roads and just in front of your best friend's house," she said. "But now, it's not just seniors doing it, and it's not just on one night, and it's not just on roads."
The 15-foot-long "2008" painted over seven lanes on the high-school track on Friday night cost the school district $500 to remove.
"That was a five-hour job, with pressure-washing and chemicals to get the paint off," said football coach, track coach and P.E. teacher Andy Grimm.
"They really hit me where I work."
In 1985, they hit Grimm where he lived. While he never participated the tradition, Grimm said his driveway was hit by fellow Class of '85 students.
"If you talk to the kids, they know its illegal... but there is that thrill in doing it," he said.
BHS Principal Brent Peterson said the notion that Paint Night is an island tradition has led to an overly tolerant view of what would otherwise be considered vandalism.
"It's certainly not endorsed, yet in this community, people actually see it as a tradition that they either like or tolerate," he said.
Jean LeMaster, who has lived on the island for almost 30 years, viewed Paint Night as "largely harmless" until the sign she helped design was marred by a lopsided "08."
Painstakingly hand-carved over several weeks by her former partner Ramona Rafferty in the early 1990s, the city-commissioned welcome sign was ruined by a few seconds of sloppy spray painting, she said. Police estimate repairs could cost more than $2,000.
"I was just appalled when I saw what happened" LeMaster said. "That
sign took forever to make. For some little creep to do what they did is
That was last weekend. On Monday cops came to the school pulled a handful of students out of class with little to no evidence, so they could shout at them and try and pressure them into confessing. Last night/Early morning after a foiled senior prank attempt at the school a couple students went to the police station and proceded to fuck shit up, story:
An attack by vandals on the island’s police vehicle fleet resulted in eight painted cars with their tires slashed, including the one driven by the police chief.
Sometime between 1:45 and 3:10 a.m., while the two duty patrol officers were away from Bainbridge’s station, suspects painted and slashed the tires of seven cars in the police parking lot near the ferry terminal.
The damage to Chief Matt Haney’s car occurred at his home, Bainbridge Deputy Police Chief Mark Duncan said. Other officers also drive their cars home, but none of those vehicles were vandalized.
The damage is estimated to add up to $12,000, he said, and police believe Bainbridge High School’s graduating seniors may be to blame.
“What a ridiculous waste of tax dollars,” Duncan said, adding, “It’s a sad legacy for the class of 2008 to leave behind.”
In a letter to the community, Bainbridge Island School District Supterintendent Ken Crawford called the incidents “an insult to the community and our schools,” and said “the vast majority of students recognize it as such.”
He said the district will “cooperate completely” with the law enforcement investigation.
“... We must take care to not condemn an entire class of some 350 students for the criminal conduct of a few,” Crawford wrote.
Ian Powell, student president of Bainbridge’s class of 2008, echoed Crawford’s sentiment, saying he was shocked to learn this was a way some had chosen to show their school spirit.
“I hope that people understand through these actions that this is not a representation of the senior class,” he said. “This is just an individual or a few individuals that made a bad decision.”
Duncan declined to say what the suspects wrote on the cars — though one was spotted bearing “08” on its side — but he said police are following a number of leads to track down the culprits. Two of the cars in the parking lot at the station were brand new, he said.
Two cars were damaged after officers drove over some white paint put on the road as part of the island’s traditional “Paint Night,” which is when graduating seniors write celebratory messages on roadways. The “Welcome to Bainbridge Island” sign near Agate Pass Bridge and the high school’s track was marked with “08” and “2008” earlier this week.
Powell said Bainbridge High School carries with it many great traditions, but he said those traditions can be “taken over the edge.”
“To do this and vandalize police cars,” he said, “should never be part of Bainbridge High School.”