Stolen Flags Replaced At Mira Mesa School

Various Flags Stolen 2 Months Ago From Sandburg Elementary School

Students at Sandburg Elementary School in Mira Mesa were greeted with a surprise Thursday morning, two months after an unusual theft on campus.

The excited students jumped and pointed when they arrived in the school's courtyard for lunch.

"It makes me feel excited," said 5th-grader Zahra Kushkaki.

Perched in the school's courtyard were 31 international flags, each representing the ethnicities of the school's diverse student body.

"It makes us stand proud," said 5th-grader Jeric Vaga.

For two months, the flag holders were empty after thieves made their way onto the roof and took all but the American and Guamanian flags. The stolen flags were valued at more than $2,000.

"It felt wrong inside," said 5th-grader Madison Baines.

The theft left many of the students upset, but Sandburg Elementary School Principal Laurie Hinzman was determined to rectify the situation.

Replacement flags were bought with student council funds, and future fundraisers will be needed to help pay for the purchase.

"We wanted to prove the fact they were stolen wasn't going to destroy our inner spirit for unity," said Hinzman.

To prevent any future thefts, the flagpoles have been secured to the building and there are security precautions the school declined to talk about.

"It makes me feel represented. It's like they show our cultures and makes us feel happy for the way we are and the culture we have," said Vaga.

If you would like to donate to a fund set up to help pay for the flags, call Sandburg Elementary School at 858-566-0510, ext. 1103.