Class of ‘71 Vandalizes Dulaney Rocks

Anna Albergo and Esha Singhai

As the weather gets chillier and the days get shorter, Seniors at Dulaney are thinking about one thing: Paint the Rocks.

It’s a coveted tradition that has been passed down since the ‘60s, with many students looking forward to it since their freshman year. As early as sophomore year, the respective class chooses the colors that they will paint the rock in. The class of 2022 chose navy blue and carolina blue. During this event, Seniors wear matching class t-shirts and meet on the athletic field after school. Paint is distributed to each student and chaos follows, as students paint their names on the rocks and throw paint at their friends. 

This year, Paint the Rocks was especially important to the class of ‘22 who, on top of feeling an early onset of Senioritis, have missed milestone events like their Ring dance, Junior Homecoming and Junior Prom due to Covid-19. 

When the event finally took place on Wednesday, September 15th, students expressed their gratitude and excitement about finally being able to have a chance at a “normal” senior year. The event was a success, with names covering every inch of the rocks and Seniors walking out with paint that would be stuck in their hair for the next few days. 

However, the class of ‘22 was only able to enjoy their normalcy for two days, until their rocks were allegedly vandalized by reckless alumni from the class of ‘71. Students were saddened to see a large spray-painted “‘71” covering their names with additional smaller “‘71”’s scattered in various places across the rocks.  The class of ‘71 also wrote “beep beep” on the rocks in reference to their class mascot which was the road runner.

Class of ‘22 advisor, Brian Velten, was notified of the vandalism the next day by several class council officers. 

“I got a little irritated that, you know, 70-year-olds would drive to the rock and paint it like they did 50 years ago. And then I started thinking, hopefully, they did it not to be spiteful and vindictive,” said Velten.

Class of 2022 president Jenna Welsh said, “I felt both frustrated and disappointed. It takes time to find the paint, paint the base coat, sell shirts, and plan the senior barbeque altogether…You put so much hard work into it only for your name to be up there for three days.”

Many current seniors and community members became aware of the vandalism from pictures depicting members of the class of ‘71 on the rocks alongside their illicit activities. The photographs were then posted on social media platforms including Facebook and Nextdoor which sparked widespread community uproar amongst alumni, parents, students, and faculty.

As of now the identity of those who vandalized the rocks remains unknown and no charges will be pressed against them. However, Velten intends to fix the rocks with the class council and donations from the class of ‘71. They have paint ready to go and are planning on repainting a dark blue base coat soon.

On September 23, the class of ‘71 issued an “apology letter” to the class of ‘22, in which they cited the reasons behind their actions, one being that they were simply “caught up in [their] own sense of celebration”. The Restitution committee did not take responsibility themselves for the vandalism. According to the apology letter, they were unaware that other members of their class had vandalized the rocks prior to coming to Dulaney for a picture.

“Unbeknownst to us, earlier in the day, one of the members of our class had painted a ‘71 in our class colors on the rocks, which covered some of the names of the people in your class,” said the Restitution Committee.

The Restitution Committee ended by donating $500 to the 2022 class treasure, in hopes of mitigating the damage they had caused. Despite this donation, the state of the rocks remain unchanged. It is our hope that they are fixed soon so they can serve as a positive symbol of the class of ‘22, like they were initially intended to. Even if they do get fixed, the rocks won’t be how the seniors originally painted them back in September, taking away from the longstanding tradition.