LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - The signs of vandalism are almost gone from the girls' weight room at Long Beach High School. On Thursday, a Texas chemical company donated about $2,000 worth of products to remove the paint stains. A parent of one of the accused vandals also showed up at the school to help with the clean-up.
Long Beach school custodians spent hours scraping, peeling and scrubbing away the thick, dry paint on the workout equipment. Working next to them was a Long Beach mom.
Sandy is a parent of one of the two teenagers arrested for vandalizing the girls' weight room at Long Beach High School over the Christmas break. WLOX News did not use her last name to protect her son's identity.
"I wanted to do my part for what my son has done. He's done a lot of damage," said Sandy.
That damage included field paint splattered all over the workout equipment, walls, mirrors and floor. The paint also ruined the motors in the treadmill and stationary bicycle. A laptop computer was also destroyed.
"I was angry," said Sandy.
So when Sandy found out that Chemsearch of Texas was donating some of its products to help clean up the mess, she signed up to work.
"I don't know what else to say to everybody, but God bless the man that donated these chemicals to help so everybody can work hard," Sandy said.
"My heart just dropped," said Darryl Platt, a Biloxi sales representative for Chemsearch. "Hopefully, this is a life lesson for the young men who were involved with it, and hopefully we can get it corrected and limit the impact on them and their families."
To the female athletes who've been shut-out of the weight room for nearly four months now, Sandy had this message: "I know the girls had to suffer and I'm sorry you guys, I really am. I will stay and I will do my part until it's all clean, until it's over. I can't apologize enough to anybody in here. Everybody here is working hard and my son's getting help."
Platt said some of the paint had absorbed into the rubber floor, so he'll have to return Friday to finish the job.