Over 20 seniors including the class valedictorian at a high school in Indianapolis did not get to walk in their graduation due to a senior prank that went too far.
According to WRTV several students that attend Crispus Attucks high school were suspended and banned from their senior graduation due to a prank which left the school vandalized. According to the school, the students snuck into the building and vandalized several areas. The majority of the pranks pulled by the seniors look to be just destructive and messy. The students broke into one of the school’s offices which contained personal and confidential student records and scattered them throughout the building. They took chalk and used it to write on walls, and took a fire extinguisher and sprayed it onto the gym floor. The seniors also managed to get into the school’s food pantry and dumped the food on the floors and the carpets.
Through security cameras and the student’s personal photos, the school was able to identify most of the culprits. The school elected to not press charges against the senior pranksters, and a spokesperson for the school district, Carrie Cline-Black, explained the reasoning for not pressing charges,
“We do want to make sure students can go on to be productive students,” she explained. “We don’t want to do anything that’s going to be a black mark on their transcript or permanent record.”
The school, however, did not just let the prankers walk free. In addition to being barred from walking in their graduation, the students are required to participate in a campus beautification effort to clean up the mess they made.
Some students felt like the punishment is too harsh, and argue that those that took it too far should be punished and not everyone. Valedictorian Kayla Hawthorne is one of the pranksters that felt like the verdict wasn’t fair, she says that the prank was minor and only some people in the group went too far. She told People:
“I was very upset,” she said. “Although I was innocent, we still had to suffer the same consequences as the people who were culpable … I really think they have the ability to dig deeper and find out who did the vandalism.”
Kayle’s father, Robert Hawthorne, agrees with his daughter like a few other parents of the pranksters, but he also understands that there are consequences for your actions, and this is a learning experience for his daughter. Robert Hawthrone expressed that sentiment to People,
“I told her whatever consequence comes down, she gets whatever the group gets,”