School left without water after water valves stolen

INDIO, Calif. - Grandma Tina, as the students call her, not only works at James Madison Elementary School in Indio, she has two grandchildren going to school there as well.

"I'm very upset that people nowadays just come in and vandalize our properties," she said. 

"We had some people who needed some money and they cut off the main water pipes leading from the streets to the school," James Madison Principal David Karlquist said. 

The new valves, like the stolen ones, are made of brass. Principal Karlquist said the thieves probably thought they were made of copper, which is worth more.

"One of the things we're looking at is possibly caging them in so they're a little more difficult to vandalize," Karlquist said. 

Something that's priceless - water.

"We've had busses shuttling students to and from Johnson Elementary School to use the facilities. We have porta potties now. The busses were in place until the porta potties could be delivered," Karlquist said. 

Grandma Tina drove that bus all morning. Sometimes, trips took a half hour - 30 minutes to get something positive out of the situation.

"Just taught them about the different meanings of what happens to our community, teaching them, educating them. It's sad our school got vandalized like this," she said. 

She says she pointed out to the kids that regardless of who tried to harm the school...

"We survived for it for the day," she said. 

Water eventually came back on late afternoon on Tuesday. 

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