Vandals destroy Waxahachie middle school greenhouse

Vandals recently shattered the dreams of some Waxahachie middle schoolers trying to honor a past principal and help feed low-income classmates.

On Tuesday, someone targeted Finley Middle School's greenhouse, shattering windows and destroying all plants in sight, forcing a group of students who spent long hours on it to start over.

The Greenhouse Project started two years ago and became a reality through donations from area businesses and hundreds of hours of hard work.

“To come in and see everything dead and overturned and all the windows knocked out, the screens gone and glass everywhere, it was quite devastating,” said parent Wendy Shappard.

One of the only things left untouched was a plaque dedicating the greenhouse to former principal Ruthie Sutton, who recently retired after 45 years. She loved to garden and always wanted their school beautiful.

Aside from helping math and sciences classes learn next year, the greenhouse had a greater purpose -- flowers to beautify the Waxahachie school and to grow fruits and vegetables.

“We have a high percent of students who don't have food security at home,” said Shappard. “That was going to help us with that.”

Still, students say the vandalism is a minor setback, and starting over only seems organic.

“Even though someone managed to break in and destroy it, we're still going to fix it,” said student Zakery Boehler.

So far, there are no suspects and the district is still reviewing surveillance video to see if it caught whoever is responsible on school property.

But parents say donations are already coming in to help recover from the damage.

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