Police & Fire

Westfield Student Believes School Rivalry Motivated Theft, Vandalism in Fanwood

91003247c851f123d7cd_5151487f62c93859d832_WHS_by_Jill.jpg
A Fanwood resident and recent grad of Westfield High School believes school rivalry motivated the theft of her sign and vandalism of her car. Credits: Jill D'Ambrosio
91003247c851f123d7cd_5151487f62c93859d832_WHS_by_Jill.jpg

FANWOOD, NJ — A Westfield High School student whose mother recently moved to Fanwood said her graduation sign was stolen from their yard and her car was vandalized.

Kate Helander said she found feces smeared across her car last Thursday. Then on Tuesday, she said, her 2016 Westfield High School graduation lawn sign was stolen from her front yard.

The family has not filed a report with the police or pressed charges. No perpetrators have stepped forward, and Helander’s sign has not been returned, she said.

Sign Up for E-News

“I was nervous when my mom moved to Fanwood because of the rivalry,” said Helander, who attended WHS for all four of her high school years. “I actually hesitated originally about putting my graduation up. I was worried someone would do something to the sign, but I was excited about graduating so I put it up anyway.”

Helander believed the motive of the incident most likely stemmed from the Westfield High School/Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School athletic rivalry.

“I really think that the rivalry should stick to sports and not target individuals,” Helander said. “The rivalry has been fun at sporting events as long as it was in good taste and not extreme. It has been malicious in the past, which takes away from the fun of it.”

Helander had some words for the people who took her lawn sign and vandalized her car:

“I would ask them to think about their actions beforehand.To them I'm sure that this was just a meaningless prank, but it's been hard enough having to explain my living situation to my peers without experiencing backlash like this,” she said. “I would encourage them to look beyond the rivalry and put themselves in my shoes. I'm sure that if they are Scotch Plains kids that they wouldn't feel completely comfortable having to live in Westfield.”

Helander said she does not have any ill will toward SP-F.

“I have some awesome friends from Scotch Plains and Fanwood, and know that this isn't something that the vast majority of the SPF kids would do,” Helander said. “It was a really unfortunate incident, but I'm not letting it taint my view on the town or the kids that live there.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Summer Life Guard Job Opportunity in Union County

April 10, 2018

UNION COUNTY, NJ - Summer lifeguard positions are available at Union County’s public swimming pool, the Walter Ulrich Memorial Pool at Rahway River Park in Rahway.

“Union County’s Ulrich Pool provides our youth and adult summer job seekers with an opportunity to enjoy working outdoors in the fresh air all summer long while sharpening valuable life skills including leadership, ...

Why We Keep Kosher

Why We Keep Kosher

This week's parshah, Shemini, introduces the Torah's dietary laws. Animals must chew their cud and have split hooves to be kosher, fish need fins and scales, and a list of forbidden fowl is enumerated.

To those of us in Jewish education, it is a continuing source of disappointment that so many Jews still believe the kosher laws to be outdated.

Politics IS Government in Union County

April 21, 2018

Dear Editor:

After Bruce Patterson of Garwood was stopped from speaking at the Union County Freeholder meeting of March 22 regarding the politics behind refusing to give the party line to a sitting Freeholder, I thought this brazen suppression of free speech could not go unanswered.

At the April 19 meeting I answered with these comments.

After ten years of following government in Union ...

Helping Teenagers Deal with Prom Night Stress

April 18, 2018

Prom can be one of the most exciting times for your teenager but at the same time one of the most stressful. 

It can also be very stressful for parents as they prepare themselves to accept that their teenager is graduating and soon going away to school, while planning a weekend away after prom night. Going to the Shore for the weekend or somewhere overnight has become more of the ...

Congregation Beth Israel Students Learn About Islam

April 23, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- On April 11, Jewish students from Congregation Beth Israel in Scotch Plains and Mrs. Kouser Izhar, a Moslem woman from East Brunswick, met at the synagogue for a conversation about Islam.

Kouser, an information technology professional, offered to teach the seventh-grade students about Islam when she heard of their interest in learning about other religions. Kouser Izhar ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, April 23, 3:30 PM

Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains

After School Club for Teens at Scotch Plains ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Wed, April 25, 4:00 PM

Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains

Speak with Congressional Staff on April 25 at the ...

Government