Only Half of Students Show up at One SJ HS

A San Jose high school had additional security on hand Friday to reassure students and parents after acts of vandalism and a mailed envelope containing white powder disturbed the campus earlier this week.
Evergreen Valley High School has three additional police officers  on campus while school is in session, although attendance was  noticeably down this morning, Principal Cari Vaeth said.

In the end the numbers were half of normal Friday.

The school's problems started Monday when officials discovered vandals had poured salt on a lawn in the middle of campus in the shape of a  swastika.

The vandals also cut down several trees near the lawn. The trees were all relatively new and none was wider than about 1.5 inches, according  to Vaeth.

On Tuesday, the school received a letter containing white powder that authorities later determined was unscented baby powder.

The powder was in an envelope that also contained a letter that reportedly was "in reaction to the administration's stance on a hat policy,"  Alan Garofolo, associate superintendent for student services, said Tuesday,  referring to the prohibition of hats in the school's dress code.

Garofolo said the letter appeared to be the work of a student.

Vaeth said the school turned over all information from the incidents to San Jose police, who have not made arrests in either case.  However, three officers joined the one usually on campus today.

Vaeth said the events on campus, combined with a nationwide hoax involving text messages warning of gang initiation shootings at local  Wal-Marts, have contributed to the lower attendance today.

"I think when (the hoax) started, people thought 'Well we had a scare here on Tuesday ... maybe it would be true,'" Vaeth said. But this is one of the safest schools around. We're all here, and we're fine."

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