It's a program intended to help students grow, but Lincoln Middle School's urban farm was uprooted by vandals over the weekend.
"This is just a senseless, malicious act by someone that has nothing but evil intent on their mind," Lincoln Middle School Principal Ronnie King said Monday.
Someone broke into the Palmetto school's grounds over the weekend and tore apart the agriculture compound. Hydroponic planters were crushed, green house plants were uprooted, and the farm's tilapia pool was wiped out completely.
The farm is maintained entirely by its students and staff.
"Our students are here in the morning, before school starts. They're here after school," King explained.
Lincoln Middle weathered similar vandalism about two weeks ago. Students spent their last days before summer break rebuilding what was damaged.
"Now, the work they have done to repair those items has been destroyed once again," King said.
The damage adds up to more than $4,000. Palmetto police are now searching for who's responsible.
"It's not just the dollar value and the physical damage, but it's the damage you do to the community when you vandalize a school like this," Palmetto Police Deputy Chief Scott Tyler said Monday.
Police believe the vandals are scaling the school's fence to get in. Lincoln Middle is locked up for the summer. They even have surveillance cameras, but they didn't catch anyone this time. Now the school is looking to heighten security even more.
"We're going to back and see what we can to do rebuild it and put plans in place so this doesn't happen again," King said.
The Palmetto Police Department is now pairing up with the school district to improve security around county schools this summer.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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