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Damage to school bus ‘an unwarranted act of violence’ – minister

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Extensive damage: this photograph shows the vandalism on the Dame Marjorie Bean Hope Academy “Smiley Bus” (Photograph supplied)

Vandals who damaged a school and a bus used to transport pupils and teachers around the island have been condemned by education officials.

The Dame Marjorie Bean Hope Academy received extensive damage to the premises, including the glass doors and windows last Saturday.

The school’s “Smiley Bus,” used to transport pupils and teachers around the island, also had its windows and windshield damaged, taking it off the road for what could be several months.

Kalmar Richards, the Commissioner of Education, said: “This outrageous act of vandalism has impacted the school’s ability to provide regular programming to our students.

“We are working closely with the Dame Marjorie Bean Hope Academy family to mitigate these impacts.”

Smashed window: damage to the Dame Marjorie Bean Hope Academy “Smiley Bus” (Photograph supplied)

Walter Roban, the Acting Minister of Education, said that he was “angered and infuriated” by the act, which he described as an “unwarranted act of violence and violation”.

Mr Roban added: “There is no justification for anyone to have committed this terrible action.

“All it has done is impede the valuable work of the educators and frustrate the opportunity for the students and families to benefit from the important work of this facility.”

He said: “The Bermuda Police Service was immediately alerted when the vandalism was discovered on Saturday and is actively investigating.

“We support every effort of the BPS to investigate and apprehend the perpetrator(s).”

“To those in our community who would like to support the Friends of Hope Academy, Charity #7222, donations can be made to HSBC 010-133700-001.”

Police confirmed yesterday that no items appeared to have been stolen and that they have opened up an investigation into the incident.

The minibus was gifted to the Friends of Hope Academy in 2018 by Validus Re to replace the school’s previous 11-year-old vehicle.

It was named in memory of Jack Silvester, a boy who died at a very young age.

Anyone with information regarding the incident can contact Pc Jordan Basden by calling 211 or e-mailing jordan.basden@bps.bm.

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Published May 13, 2023 at 7:53 am (Updated May 13, 2023 at 7:53 am)

Damage to school bus ‘an unwarranted act of violence’ – minister

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