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Community members show support for Paso Robles classroom following garden vandalism

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Posted at 3:16 PM, Jun 25, 2021

A Paso Robles middle school garden vandalized last weekend has been cleaned up and school staff is hoping to use donations to pay the kindness forward to others in the community.

Julie Perruzzi, who teaches special education at Lewis Middle School, says nothing from the garden was salvageable.
In aone-minute video she posted to Facebook earlier this week, red and white paint can be seen splattered on the ground and side of the building along with broken flowers pots, damaged crops and flowers and the tool shed was also broken into.

“My students in my special education class and staff put so much time, effort, and money into growing an amazing amount of plants and flowers,” Perruzzi said in the Facebook post. “The kids learned how to plant from seed and were able to harvest and eat snow peas and broccoli. In the fall they were going to be able to harvest tomatoes, watermelon, squash, cucumber, herbs and a few other things. This feels so personal. Nothing is salvageable.”

Perruzzi says the community’s outpouring of support following the vandalism was overwhelming.

A gofundme account was created to help raise funds for the class but Perruzzi says donations were coming in quickly and they asked the creator to shut the account down.

She says they have plenty of donations to replant the garden and get next year’s garden started and are hoping to use the funds that have come in to support local nurseries and businesses that offered donations following the vandalism.

Atascadero police on Tuesday said they had taken a vandalism report at the school but did not have any leads.

A school resource officer was working with school staff on the investigation.