Students vow to rebuild damaged agriculture lab

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Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 3:48 pm | Updated: 10:31 am, Thu Jun 20, 2013.

PALMETTO, Fla. - For the second time in two weeks, vandals have targeted Lincoln Memorial Middle School in Palmetto, causing more than $4,000 worth of damage to the school's agricultural program lab.

But despite the problems, school officials say they're not letting this get them down.

Students the school put a lot of hard work into the agriculture lab. “Our students spend time before school, after school, the weekend, as well as some time during the summer working in this lab here. So this is more than just a class for our students, this is their lifestyle,” says school principal Ronnie King.

So you can imagine how they felt when they learned that someone vandalized the lab the first time. “Our students, their hearts are in this, and they're distraught by it.”

And then the lab was vandalized for a second time within two weeks. “They killed all of the fish that we had, about 200 tilapia fish that we had farm raised, as well as turned over some of our tables, did damage to our plants, as well as our hydroponic planters that we use for urban gardening.”

Principal King says students didn't waste any time. “They jumped right back in to help us to get everything cleaned up and up and running again.”

But it's not the thousands of dollars-worth of damage that's getting school officials down. King says the real blow is the attack on the program that so many students and staff love. “It doesn't dampen our spirit. It's a hit that someone sought to do something malicious to our program, but what things like this actually do is bring the community together.”

King says the school is stepping up security measures. If you have any information you're asked to call the Palmetto Police Department at 721-2000.

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