Thursday, October 16, 2008

Nordhoff Suspends Seven Suspected Vandals

Police eye arrests for Oct. 3 incident at Villanova

By Sondra Murphy
Seven Nordhoff High School students were suspended this week for their involvement in Oct. 3 vandalism to Villanova Preparatory School campus. The two schools’ football teams were to play that evening for the first time in more than three decades.
Perpetrators painted Villanova’s statue of St. Thomas of Villanova, as well as offensive graffiti slogans around the school. The football field and pool were also vandalized with manure and salt.
Nordhoff administration reported that because the incidents occurred outside of school, the law is very specific about how they were able to deal with their students. Suspensions were initiated for this situation since expulsion is an option for drug, alcohol or weapon-related incidents during school hours or activities.
Not all the vandals were Nordhoff students. Both schools waited for police to investigate the incident before deciding what action to take.
The oil-based paint used has been difficult to remove from the marble statue. Villanova president, the Rev. Gregory Heidenblut, said that experts are being sought to aid in cleaning it off. So far, no product has been able to remove residual blue tint from the structure.
“I walk by that statue about 40 times a day,” said Heidenblut. “That being one of our Augustinian brothers from 500 years ago, it’s very disheartening.” Heidenblut had another company coming to Villanova Thursday to see if they could restore the statue.
The pool has returned to safe condition and was the site of an Oct. 10 water polo match between the two schools. “We have had some sporting events with Nordhoff since then, so things are looking up,” said Heidenblut. “We are letting the police do what they need to do and have not heard anything new from them.” Heidenblut said he and OUSD superintendent Tim Baird also met this week and agreed to let the police investigation continue, as needed.
Ojai Detective Steve Michalec said they will be taking the case to the district attorney’s office next week. “We’re looking at several people, mostly juveniles, to determine what arrests, if any, will be made,” he said.

79 comments:

Anonymous said...

A suspension?? Really? Inhouse suspension, what's that?

Anonymous said...

What I want to know is when Kathy Smith will be resigning her School Board post given that her child was on of the thugs that defaced Villanva School. How can she continue to tell us what is best for our schools?

Anonymous said...

Kinda like Arce ruling over our kids when her own were running amok!

Anonymous said...

So expulsion does not apply because it did not happen at school or during school hours. Following that logic then it sounds as if the School District has no jurisdiction over this case and can not even legally suspend them. All the more reason that they be arrested and charged with felony crimes so that these bad apples are removed from Nordhoff away from the good kids who had nothing to do with this crime.

Anonymous said...

I have to say that I was susrprised that Nordhoff could suspend children for doing something that did not happen on-campus or during a school function. I think the story should have addressed how that is possible, since it is such an obvious question.

Anonymous said...

According to Nordhoff's student handbook:

SUSPENDABLE OFFENSES
* Harassment/intimidation
* Fighting
* Defiance of school authority
* Defacing school property
* Forgery
* Vulgarity
* Disruptive behavior
* Theft
* Possession of drugs/alcohol/paraphernalia - 5 day
suspension/possible police citation
* Under influence of alcohol or drugs - 5
day suspension

Assuming students admitted involvement, I can see how the vandalism of another school could be interpreted as a suspendable offenses.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:59: where are you reading "in house" suspension? (FYI, it is when suspended students don't get time off from school, but do classwork during their punishment.) It is an option parents may request.
Regarding the comments by Anonymous 6:14 and 6:55, your logic would dictate that the parents of the other vandals resign from jobs or posts because they may be in the position to make decisions.
So quick to name names and demand action, I find it difficult to believe neither of you have never done anything rude, foolish or illegal. And you both must have perfect children.

Anonymous said...

Quote:
So quick to name names and demand action, I find it difficult to believe neither of you have never done anything rude, foolish or illegal. And you both must have perfect children.


Rude, foolish AND illegal...you bet. Destroying a school and religious institutions, NO!

Anonymous said...

Let's keep this simple. If you do the crime, then you do the time. No matter who you are or who your parents are.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so in keeping with the simple concept, if my kid went to the Arcade Plaza and painted that goofy bird
sculpture blue and gold he'd be kicked out of school?
I am SO in agreement that they need to be punished through the court system, but I am just not 100% convinced that the school district has the right to get involved. I see a whooping big gray area here. Leads to all sorts of actions that could be taken against kids for offenses done outside of the school setting. The comment that lists the suspendible (correct spelling per my spell check) offenses contains a "could be interpreted" clause that clouds things.

And yes, it is such an obvious question that it should have been addressed in the article. We would not be kicking it around here if that had been addressed and cleared up.

Anonymous said...

I think the comments alluding to the behavior of children of these school officials are meant to suggest that those officials are not totally equipped to properly guide our children, both directly, as in the position Ms. Arce holds, or indirectly, as Ms. Smith.

Anonymous said...

Here is the problem for the school board member's accused son. As a school board member they have adjudicated numerous expulsion from the school district. Now there appears to be a clear conflict of interest not to mention the fact that the other school board members would naturally feel sympatheic towards one of its own members. In high profile cases such as this, it would serve the public interest to have complete transparency and thus the board member would have to consider stepping down.

Anonymous said...

That assumes that the accused will be arrested and convicted of an offense that would lead to expulsion. My guess is that there will be no arrests and it will all amount to no significant punishment.

Anonymous said...

arent religious descecration (permanent paint on a religious figure/statue with spray painted words "F--k Jesus I am glad hes dead") and swazticas enough to qualify a a hate crime?? Hope school officials are not attempting to redefine what qualifies as hate crimes in order to protect a school board members errant son.

Anonymous said...

"arent religious descecration (permanent paint on a religious figure/statue with spray painted words "F--k Jesus I am glad hes dead") and swazticas enough to qualify a a hate crime?? Hope school officials are not attempting to redefine what qualifies as hate crimes in order to protect a school board members errant son."

Well said...Kathy Smith needs to step down to eliminate the conflict of interest element in this case.

Anonymous said...

WHO ARE THESE CREEPY PEOPLE THAT ARE USING THIS INCIDENT TO ATTACK
MS. ARCE AND MS. SMITH? HEY, JUST BECAUSE YER STUPID KID GOT DISCIPLINED ONCE IN SCHOOL DOESN'T GIVE YOU THE RIGHT SLANDER PEOPLE ANONYMOUSLY IN THE NEWSPAPER, YOU LOW-CLASS MORONS. IF YOU DON'T LIKE NORDOFF, SEND YER STUPID, CREEPY KID SOMEWHERE ELSE.

Anonymous said...

MAN, FOR A SUPPOSEDLY ARTISTIC, ENLIGHTENED, QUASI-SPIRITUAL COMMUNITY, WE SURE HAVE A LOT OF WHITE-TRASH, BITCHY, CATTY, GOSSIPY WOMEN..(AND A FEW MEN).
I BET YER ALL SUCH GOOD CHRISTIANS TOO. I PINE FOR THE DAYS WHEN PEOPLE LIKE THIS WERE PUT IN STOCKS AND HAD ROTTEN FRUIT AND VEGETABLES THROWN AT THEM. THEY EMBARASS OUR COMMUNITY.

Anonymous said...

"HEY, JUST BECAUSE YER STUPID KID GOT DISCIPLINED ONCE IN SCHOOL DOESN'T GIVE YOU THE RIGHT SLANDER PEOPLE ANONYMOUSLY IN THE NEWSPAPER, YOU LOW-CLASS MORONS. IF YOU DON'T LIKE NORDOFF, SEND YER STUPID, CREEPY KID SOMEWHERE ELSE."


....classic. Where is your name? What a dumba$$.

Anonymous said...

I think about the only real attack happened against Villanova. I think what most people are interested in are 1. the truth, including what is and is not a hate crime 2. who was responsible and 3. to know that those responsible are held accountable criminally, civilly and financially and have to pay resitituion to Villanova and have to apologize publicly. This is not bitchy -- it is right and fair.The poll in OVN was in favor of publishing the names -- do it OVN. We need a paper that reports the truth and is not scared into silence by those calling those who want the truth "creepy" etc this is meant as a distraction to the real issues(see 1 ,2&3 above) PUBLISH THE TRUTH OVN starting with definition of hate crime DO YOUR JOB. Don't be intimidated by the defenses and distractions of those who just want to bury this. DO YOUR JOB write the article that should be written -- the one containing all the truth.

Anonymous said...

Well put!

Anonymous said...

do you really want the OVN to do their job? they are! or do you really just want them to do it your way?

Anonymous said...

Lots of dialogue here. 1. people who want to see a crime punished. 2. people unhappy with a school board member. 3. people dissatisfied with the school district's response. 4. people who think this is much ado about nothing. 5. people interested in the police investigation.
Perhaps the focus should be on a solution. Have the boys apologize to Villanova and the community, offer restitution for the damages,and finally to further understanding have each boy independently attend Villanova for 1 week. Let us start the healing process.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last comment -- clearly there is dissatisfaction with a lot in the OVSD -- this particular situation needs to be addressed honestly and without bias. There needs to be accountability, consequences and healing. As to what the journalistic responsibility or mission is -- its quite simple and non partisan. It is to report the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. To be intellectually honest, to not be influenced by political correctness or the religious right and in this situation to also objectively address what is and is not a "hate crime" as defined by the federal and state gov NOT by the OUSD--they are not in charge of defining and reformatting the legal definition of hate crimes in order to serve their purposes. This analysis should is the job of a skilled intelligent journalist and a real newspaper and what OVN should do. Do the analysis. Its not complicated, it just takes ethics, objectivity intelligence and work. Do the work.

Anonymous said...

I WANT THE NAMES. SOMEBODY LEAK THEM!

Anonymous said...

Gee, it's going to be hard for Ojai to maintain it's "spiritual and artistic" image when anybody can read this blog and find out that the people of Ojai are just as prejudiced, trashy and ignorant as everybody else in the county!!!
It makes me want to puke when I read an article in the LA times or other big city newspapers and they invariably describe Ojai like it was the spiritual/artistic mecca of the western hemisphere...well, news flash for ya: Krishnamurti has been dead for a LONG time...and the redneck, white-trash Republicans have taken over!!! There's WAY too many SUV's and pickup trucks driven by moronic rednecks around here anymore. Ojai is not the Ojai you remember. It's over, Shangri-La now more closely resembles Oklahoma.

Anonymous said...

"....classic. Where is your name? What a dumba$$."

UH, WHERE'S YOUR NAME, MORON?
ANYBODY AS STUPID AS YOU MUST BE A FEMALE CHRISTIAN REPUBLICAN.

Anonymous said...

I think a true Shangri La is inclusive community and makes room for all opinions and points of view. I do not think it is fair, or right to categorize people who believe in the rule of law as right wing Christians etc. I think we can all agree that rules and laws are necessary for the maintenance of a civilized society and I think people on both sides of the aisle believe that painting religious statues and swazticas and obscene offensive painted graffiti with offensive messages about Jesus is not what any of us want. We wouldn't want that done about Krisnamurti or on our local synagouge or any other ethnic or religious group. Grow up and realize, the laws are there to protect ALL of us. Stop lashing out at the wrong people -- look at those that committed these acts not those that seek justice in the face of them. Shangri La does not include ignoring this type of behavior -- in fact quite the opposite. Any good Shangri La worth its salt does not allow these racist intolerant acts. Shangri La is a society based on tolerance and inclusion not religous intolerance and racism.

Anonymous said...

The discussion is getting off track with these offensive comments. How about some constructive recommendations as to how to seek justice.

Anonymous said...

I think that next to last post was right on track as to the law applying to all of us equally. good comments. Let fairness and equal application of the laws apply to all of us --that is exactly on track as to what the discussion is and should be. No name calling or categorizing people into the left or right or religious or not or rich or poor = irrelevant. Equally apply and enforce the laws and rules . That is the law in Ojai and shangri la my friends wanting equal protection under the law is not "offensive" and people wanting equal treatment are not "morons" stop making these idiotic comments

Anonymous said...

Newsflash to the jerk off that thinks this isn't the valley of Shangri La: Us rednecks have bee here a whole helluva lot longer than you femimen and mascuwomen that sit and drink coffee because your nothing but a bunch of spoiled children livinig off daddy's and daddy's l.a. money. Go to Hell, I mean back to LA.

Sondra Murphy said...

As there have not yet been arrests, the OVN has not received the names of those involved. Perhaps everyone associated with Nordhoff knows the names, but neither police nor NHS have given them to us.
If the police are not treating this as a hate crime, perhaps the sayings "quoted" in the blogs are not accurate? Sorry, we need confirmation from a reliable, quotable source, not anonymous phone calls or blogs.
Might I remind all that items at VPS have been damaged and not destroyed? The way this blog has escalated into rude name calling reminds me of the actions on which you are commenting.
Finally, in regards to Nordhoff's ability to discipline students for offenses committed off campus, I will attempt to clarify this in any update I write.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the reporter could do some investigating and come up with the definition of what constitutes a hate crime? Should be fairly easy.

OVN administrator said...

Hate crimes defined:

http://da.co.la.ca.us/hate/hcdefined.htm

OVN administrator said...

Hate crimes defined:

http://da.co.la.ca.us/hate/hcdefined.htm

Anonymous said...

Thank you OVN for updating and continuing to provide us with new information.

Anonymous said...

A double thank you to the superb OVN and the majority of participants for having a high-class blog. Our little town is lucky to have this resource and opportunity for an intelligent give and take of local news. Things get off-track sometimes, but overall it is a much more intelligent collection of thoughts than the blog of other county papers.

Anonymous said...

Felony:
P.C. 594.3 - Vandalism of place of worship based on racial or religious bias.

Anonymous said...

lets hope OVN takes the laws codes etc and does the analysis. I think everyone is ready for a real clear objective fact based article about whether or not this qualifies as a hate crime and why etc ....first of all how about listing in detail what was done at Villanova ie get the police report boneheads .... how about an in depth. analysis??? hey theres an idea.. this of course assumes that the OVN has the ability and balls to be objective and not just act as a mouthpiece for the OUSD.

Anonymous said...

Yawn!

A couple of statues got a fresh coat of paint. Big deal. Move on and move forward. What a stupid article and stupid comments that followed.

Grow up, you stupid and idiotic losers.

Anonymous said...

Yawn / 'yon,'yan vb
1. To open one's mouth wide usually as an involuntary reaction to saying something stupid.

Demand Civility and Respect said...

All was well here until 10/19 2:23, then a few decent attempts at civility, then 10/20 10:12 and 10/20 4:33 chimed in with contempt. Thank you, Sondra, for trying to keep the peace, but clearly, particularly with the last two comments, things devolved into meanness and name-calling, not doing much to further the discussion or find facts.

Anonymous said...

I agree name calling and calling what was done "nothing" simply reveals ignorance and an inability to face and resolve important local issues. The first thing is to include in the next article the full extent of what occurred at Villanova. The second thing is to address what these acts are civilly and criminally and with regard to the legal definition of "hate crimes" instead of all this distracting unhelpful nonsense. How about the full facts and some good honest reporting. Thats all we need.
"I am a journalist myself and shall appeal to fellow journalists to realize their responsibility and to carry on their work with no idea other than that of upholding the truth." Mahatma Gandhi 189-1948

Anonymous said...

The criminal charges most likely will depend on the police report and the enthusiasm of the District Attorney to prosecute these boys. If they are arrested, which is a big "if" and charged, will it be for a hate crime (felony) or a lesser charge and get probation? The charges probably will have some bearing on what the school district's disciplinary action will be.

Anonymous said...

Is there a possibility that some of those involved were girls?

Anonymous said...

I am anxious to hear the explanation of how the OUSD can become involved with the activities of kids in off-campus, non-sanctioned "events."

Anonymous said...

If the suspects are arrested and convicted of a hate crime, then it is probably a moot point as to what the OUSD can do as the boys will be serving time in prison and unavailable to attend classes at Nordhoff.

Anonymous said...

From the article:
Not all the vandals were Nordhoff students.
Who were the others involved if not Nordhoff students. Adults? Students from other schools? Why haven't we heard anything about them?

Mr. Rogers said...

Demand Civility and Respect:

I am so sick of your weak minded comments on the blogs. Quit whining every time somebody disagrees with your wuss opinion. Maybe if you weren't so weak your opinions might get some respect. Around here, you gotta earn it. You haven't earned anything except a reputation for being a coward.

Mr. Rogers said...

Civility,

Also what about the October 20, 2008 12:08 PM comment? I guess its ok depending on who's doing the name calling. You are a hypocritical joke.

demand civility and respect said...

I admit that I am a weak and feeble minded, hypocritical loser.

Anonymous said...

all were Nordhoff students.

demand civility and respect said...

i haven't posted any opinions here. please be kind to one another. and please stop impersonating me.

Anonymous said...

Well, no article in OVN today. still no complete list of damage done, no analysis of hate crime aspect , no list of names etc etc etc what was the point of the survey re releasing the names if you had no intent to do so OVN??? The clear majority of people answering that survey voted to publish the names of the vandals. It would be great to have a real objective truthful fearless intelligent INDEPENDENT newspaper/press, wouldn't it?? Oh well.

Anonymous said...

why don't you start one? not as easy as it sounds. tremendous liability in publishing the names of children...

Anonymous said...

Understood .... need to be over 18 to publish name, how about stating/ explaining that rule in the article and say when you can publish the names and again, actually write a full truthful article and include ALL the vandalism. And what's the suspension? , a couple days in study hall?? Big whoop. come on write the truth ... the whole truth. Be a real newspaper for once. Show some real respect for this community by acting and writing like a free press should. Information is power and this community needs and deserves the truth and real honest information about everything that happens here. Be brave and do your job the way its supposed to be done.

Anonymous said...

easy to say anonymously - me, too I guess

Anonymous said...

Hey OVN how about an update.

Anonymous said...

Can the names of the minors be published?
1979 U.S. Supreme Court ruling
Smith V. Daily Mail
First amendment protection of journalist. The press may not be punished for printing truthful information as long as it did not break the law to get the information.
Game on OVN.
Good night and good luck.

Susan Taylor said...

those of you so eager to see the names published should say so...and put your real name to it!

Anonymous said...

Surprise, no Susan Taylor in the phone book.

Anonymous said...

why??? we didnt vandalize anything, why publish our names???. Again more distractions instead of focusing on the real issues and the real problems..... a OVN specialty .... and heres a news flash -- pretty much everybody except the parents and friends of the vandals wants to see the names published ... a little common sense would be so nice

Anonymous said...

How about a new OVN poll? Vote 1. no punishment, it was just a prank. 2. Throw the book at these kids, it was a hate crime.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Two out of seven, what makes these two so special?

Anonymous said...

If you want the other five come rake the leafs off my lawn.

Anonymous said...

You will have at least 500 people volunteering to rake your lawn. Just say when and where.

Joe the Hot Dog Vendor said...

Are we still talking about this incident? There wasn't any grafitti. It was done with hot carl cans and other washouts. Bring the jerks down and make them hose it. Leave these poor innocent boys alone. How would you like it if your kids were treated this way? I thought Ojai stood for compassion and accountability? Where is that now?

Who are the rest of the kids/

Anonymous said...

No arrests, no accountability, no action. This is what to expect when the kids parents are lawyers.

Anonymous said...

I WANT NAMES AND I WANT THEM NOW I WANT THE TRUTH YOU CANT HANDLE THE TRUTH

Anonymous said...

We need Jack Nicholson. He can handle the truth!

Anonymous said...

"poor innocent boys" Oh please. They defaced a religious statue that cannot be cleaned they did graffiti with shameful messages "fuck jesus I am glad hes dead" hardly innocent my friend. and lots of other stuff, tossing furniture in the pool an obcene picture burned into the lawn by salted fertilizer swazticas- at least get the facts before you speak, of course you won't get them from the OVN thats for sure. "you cant handle the truth" no truer words were ever said than those about our "perfect community" shangri la my fanny.

Anonymous said...

OVN how about getting a copy of the police report for your next article.

Anonymous said...

Next article? Looks to me like the OV News is done with this story.

Anonymous said...

The school district is also done with this story. But take heart the voters will exact punishment by defeating the $623 tax increase proposed by Measure P.

Anonymous said...

CHARGE THESE JERKS AS ADULTS AND HANG 'EM HIGH!!!! WE NEED A GOOD OLD FASHIONED LYNCHING> THAT WILL SOLVE THIS PROBLEM.

IF ONE OF THESE CRIMINALS' PARENTS REALLY IS ON THE SCHOOLBOARD, SHE NEEDS TO STEP DOWN IMMEDIATELY AND START FOCUSING ON HER SON. HOW CAN SHE BE EXPECTED TO KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR OUR CHILDREN WHEN SHE'S A FAILURE WITH HER OWN? DO THE RIGHT THING. STEP DOWN!!

OVN: I WANT THE TRUTH. I'M A BIG GIRL, I CAN HANDLE IT!!

Anonymous said...

Let 'em get away with the "small" things now, and tomorrow they'll be big things. It's just teenage "fun" when a kid in his hot car is fish-tailing and screeching all over the road...until he runs over you or your kid and then it becomes real personal. Oh, it's just paint on somebody's stupid statue, until a bunch of teenagers slash YOUR tires and scratch YOUR car then it becomes personal. This is how it happens dear neighbors. It's lack of manners and respect pure and simple and there's no culture or religion that I can think of that thinks that bad behavior of this kind is excusable.

Anonymous said...

When is Cathi Smith going to comment on this situation. If her kids was not involved I bet she'd be all over the OVN with quotes....CATHY SMITH MUST RESIGN. This is the same woman that tries to get a Nordhoff coach fired for having a beer in a bar with some buddies after work.

CATHY SMITH RESIGN
CATHY SMITH RESIGN

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the entire school board should resign and the officials at Nordhoff who have done nothing.

Anonymous said...

A new OVN article with no new information.