Point Loma High Christmas Tree Vandalized

by on December 12, 2012 · 21 comments

in Culture, Education, Environment, Ocean Beach

Other Live Tree on Campus Also Cut Down by Vandals

The Grinch is at it again. This time, he and his friends vandalized a student-initiated project of erecting a tall, 25 foot Christmas Tree on campus of the Point Loma High School.   They also cut down a small live tree nearby – also on campus.

Campus police believe the vandalism occurred late Monday night or early Tuesday night.

The holiday-inspired tree was the brainchild of a group of students, who spent $700 of their own money to buy the tree at a farm in San Bernardino County, transport it down to the campus on a rented trailer, and erect it with decorations.

Here’s the report from Channel 10News:

A Christmas tree on the campus of Point Loma High School has been vandalized and students are trying to give it life again.

 The high school is known for its clever senior pranks. Last September, students made a 16-foot giant hamster wheel.

 Students and staff loved it, and last week, senior Corlin Palmer got some friends together to come up with a holiday prank. A 25-foot Christmas tree was the answer.

 “Every year we do something for Christmas, and we wanted to one-up ourselves this year, so we decided to get a giant Christmas tree,” said Palmer.

 Palmer and some friends drove to San Bernardino County to pick out the perfect tree.

 “We went to a Christmas tree farm and bought the tree,” said Palmer.

 It cost them about $700 to buy the tree, rent a trailer to haul it back, put gas in the truck and buy lights and cables to prop it up in the school yard.

 The tree was a hit, but on Tuesday morning Palmer received a call from a teacher who told him the tree was vandalized overnight.

 “I saw it and it was a complete disappointment,” said Palmer.

 Students swept up limps and branches from the ground. In true prank fashion, they turned the joke around.

 “We got some hula hoops from the P.E. class and we made a wreath,” said Palmer. They hung up that Christmas wreath over the “O” on “Performing Arts” building.

 Surveillance cameras were rolling in the area the students call “the quad,” but 10News was told the images might be too dark to get a good description. Nevertheless, the San Diego Unified School Police Department told 10News they have some strong leads and are investigating.

 The vandals also cut down one living tree. Students put a sign on the downed tree that read, “Who could do such a thing?”

 For now, they are making the most of what is left of their Christmas tree.

 “We just think we decorate the top tree and the trunk and try to make it look a little better,” said Palmer.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

unWASHEdWalmaRtthONG December 12, 2012 at 2:41 pm

So where is the separation of church/state when students pull a prank? The decorated conifer no longer symbolizes the pagan celebration of the winter solstice; it has become the religious symbol of the Christians in winter. The tree should not have remained on the campus for even one day. There are too many “student initiated” religious rituals promulgated on state property already. Simply because students initiate the prank does not make it right. Students “gather at the flagpole” for prayer. Now, we have The Good News Clubs on campus because some freak lawyer convinced a judge that religious clubs on a state-funded & maintained campus is simply a free speech issue. Ridiculous.
What’s next, bumper stickers that read, “Keep the Christ in Christmas Tree”?


Wizard of Cape May December 12, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Feel the same about the Christmas tree at the end of Newport?


Tyler December 13, 2012 at 6:54 am

@Wizard – Is the end of Newport Ave a school?


Bearded OBcean December 13, 2012 at 9:34 am

No, but it’s public property.


Wizard of Cape May December 13, 2012 at 10:10 am

It’s the beach which is about as public as Pt. Loma High. And I believe the Christmas tree stand for it is a manhole opening for the sewer (city property) that’s usually hidden. Someone should sue to keep Christmas (and the tree) out of OB. Where’s OB Law(yer) when you need him/her?


John December 13, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Whether you believe in the great fable of baby Jesus being sent here by the bearded old man in the sky to save us from our sins or not, Christmas is society’s yearly institution established long ago to stop in the middle of the coldest part of the year and realize that giving to others is better than taking, and we should appreciate what we have.
Everyone should be able to find some benefit from it, even atheists can use it to instill the “fear of God” in their children since Santa Claus of course sees you when you’re sleeping, and knows when you’re awake, so be good for goodness sake.
Hopefully the lump of coal you get in your stocking will be appreciated, at the very least get drunk at a party and screw, will ya? Might cheer you up.


Anonymousness December 12, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Walmartthong, you may not believe in santa claus but you do possess the spirit of the grinch! When did you become such a jaded old hippie that you missed the point – that a bunch of jerks undid the hard work of a bunch of kids? $700 is a lot to a teenager. It has nothing to do with jesus or christianity or anything else offensive to your lack of religion. I’m not religious, but I do take my kids to see the houses decorated with pretty lights. And we go to the OB holifay parade every year, and take a picture by the pretty tree with the pier in the background. Someone should vandalize you.


unWASHEdWalmaRtthONG December 13, 2012 at 10:42 am

Perhaps the $700 could have been directed elsewhere. Tis true, I am a jaded old hippie. I listened to SDS & didn’t register for the draft–until I had to register for college. I didn’t like Nixon’s bombing Cambodia & Agent Orange. Reagan did more damage to the country than good; he didn’t bring down the Berlin Wall. I don’t shop Walmart. I eat less meat each day. Every day it is more difficult to negotiate the twists & turns, & all the time trying to avoid the pitfalls that the govorporation sets for us. Sometimes it feels like I’m in the front seat of a roller coaster on the Mobius strip of life. And I certainly dislike the method of appropriations the Christians have adopted as their MO. They have appropriated ancient myths & legends from Egypt, Mesopotamia, Babylon, Persia, & India & made them their own & promulgate them as “truth.” They have stolen the pagan celebration of the solstice, & so we now know it as the Christmas Tree. They have even hijacked time with Anno Domini; time did not start 2012 years ago. Luckily, they still do not kill & maim those who do not adhere to their beliefs. So I have little sympathy for misdirected youths who have thought little of their actions.
And the vandals? Catch ’em & prosecute, but don’t taze ’em, they may be young.


rick December 13, 2012 at 9:57 am

“Pretty tree”—-beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder.


Anonymousness December 14, 2012 at 8:25 am

Right Rick…which is my point exactly. My kids really liked all the blue lights this year. I’m talking about their perspective and teenager’s perspectives on the holiday. They haven’t been jaded yet like these grumpy old paranoid people commenting here…so they don’t see a christmas tree as having anything to do with jesus or politics or nixon or the draft from 40 years ago and have not yet analyzed corporate ethics. They’re kids. Jeezus people. So much negativity from a bunch of hippies. So much for peace and love and to each their own. Like I said…grinch…bah humbug…can’t even enjoy the pretty lights anymore in this lifetime? Sad.


unWASHEdWalmaRtthONG December 14, 2012 at 10:19 am

Peace. Love. Joy. Toys fer Tots–all once a year. Do yourself a favor & analyze the deeper issue of the separation of church/state. Last time I checked, about a billion dollars a year is funneled to religious groups. Scrutinize the church & military at some tax-payer-funded military installations the world around. The tree, sir, symbolizes that which the religionists have appropriated around the globe. You may be dazzled by the pretty lights & sparkles, & you may be mesmerized by the spectacle, but this grumpy motherfucker has seen the destruction of the religions & the US religious right. Get in line, then, march to their drummer & do not question & do not scrutinize what they do, & you will not be bothered; you too will rejoice in all they do for the love of the intangibles in the sky.


John December 15, 2012 at 3:39 am

I’m an agnostic who often leans toward atheist, however I have the respect- and perspective- to recognize that the only place that has long and consistently been distributing free food and meals to the homeless and needy, is the church on Sunset Blvd. Volunteers do this.
Same with the food bank location off Rosecrans. Most of the food is gov’t surplus but the location is manned by church volunteers on church property.
What has Mr. Grinch given of himself to the needy?
My 85 year old mother has for years volunteered at a poor and homeless outreach center at St. Vincent De Paul in Tacoma WA. She’s still doing it.
All you see of religion is the bull **** and none of the good.
I recognized the bull **** long ago but understood you don’t stop raising the bulls because of it. Religion is simply a vehicle. Some use it to promote their wicked agendas, many others use it as their way to give of themselves to humanity.
I can assure you, bull **** or not, since it’s been around thousands of years before you or I existed, it ain’t going away just for us. You ought to make the best of it as you can.
One thing I always found about hard core atheists who (sometimes accurately) criticize fundies and other really true devotees as dangerously misguided, ignorant or crazy, yet wish to tear down these institutions, is the misguided nature of that- you could ponder, using an old saying, that their religion is the only thing keeping them off the streets at night, and who knows what destructive path they might be on of not anchored down by their God commanding them to be good and chaste.
And you’d tear that all down and leave them to their own device. Pretty dumb!


unWASHEdWalmaRtthONG December 15, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Thanks for this, John. I appreciate it. I’ve seen my own family members travel the world to promulgate. I have witnessed my own brother work in the slums of Medellin, Colombia. I worked right alongside him because he is my brother, & I love him.
If I may be excused from explaining any further today, I would appreciate it. I have to go to work.
Have a wonderful day all of you who read The OB Rag.


Anonymousness December 15, 2012 at 10:06 am

Again, you completely missed the point. None of your ranting has anything to do with this article, nor does it do anything to make these kids feel better for losing their $700 and time and energy to some assholes. You have provided endless entertainment in my household though. And you’ve helped to confirm the stereotype of the crazy old guy next door who thinks everything has something to do with some conspiracy by the government. Happy Holidays!


unWASHEdWalmaRtthONG December 15, 2012 at 2:01 pm

I do get the point. And I do see that you do not. Apparently, you too have been mezmerized by the spectacle of the lights. The fundamental issue here is that these children were not taught correctly regarding the separation of church/state. They chose to spend time & money erecting a symbol of the Christian religion on State property. That’s it. Were they members of a local congregation, I am certain their efforts would have been more appreciated had they spent the time & energy to donate the tree to their own congregation; but then again, there are many religious children & non-religious children who are not aware of inroads religions have made into the secular segments of society. Or these students were attempting to make their own religious inroads into the school environment.
I would never try to make the kids feel any better for wasting their time & energy on a prank, merely for one-up-manship.
We could analyze the situation even further with simple subsitutions. What would the collective reactions be were the students to erect one of the following:
A) Burning Man statuary
B) a burning cross
C) a Chargers lightning bolt
D) a giant Coca Cola can replica
E) a student-made peace symbol
Each symbol carries meaning, & the meanings differ from one segment of society to another.
The next time I “rant” I will type in caps so you will know that I am having trouble typing & pulling out what hair I have left on my head because my paranoia has gotten to the point where the gold foil pyramid I wear on my head no longer keeps out the alien radio waves that are beamed into my household daily. My tinnitus increases daily, & the rabbit ears for my TV have stopped working–there’s your proof that aliens exist.
P.S. Did you know that the NSA is building a giant surveillance facility in Utah just so it can intercept EVERYTHING!


Jon December 13, 2012 at 11:03 am

What a bunch of paranoid whiners! Good lord! Get a life, or at least try to find some joy in the one you have now. Whining about Christmas trees?? You seriously have nothing better to do with your time? In fact, I can’t believe I just wasted 5 minutes reading this drivel. I want that 5 minutes back! Lol. Please, Please find something more important to whine about guys. Go back to the gentrification issue. At least that was a little more interesting and might have an impact on life in the community. Christmas trees…. (collective community eye-roll)


unWASHEdWalmaRtthONG December 15, 2012 at 2:46 pm

We could meet at the OB pier, & I will grant you another five minutes of your time.
Father Time


Gary Ghirardi December 13, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I suggest some milk and cookies for you Jon since you don’t like whine.


Jon December 13, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Ha! Good one Gary. Honestly, shame on me for being surprised at ridiculous comments on the online message board. Tis the season! Merry christmahanakwanzika! Or not.


rick December 14, 2012 at 9:56 am

—-unWashed..’s comment provides historical and personal information.

—-Civil discussion fosters community.

—-The tree looks better after dark.

—-As the late Andy Williams reminds us, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”.


Tom Cairns December 14, 2012 at 10:05 pm

I remember when the Southern Rosecrans beer-drinkers cut down one of the trees on campus in 1969–they thought it was cool. And they’re Republicans.


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