More than 80 seniors won’t walk at graduation over prank involving cement in toilets
BURLINGTON, N.C. (WXII) - Dozens of seniors in a North Carolina school district were barred from participating in their high school graduation ceremonies over pranks that caused thousands of dollars in damage to school property.
More than 80 students in the Alamance-Burlington School System were involved in a May 25 senior prank in which six high schools were vandalized, according to the school district.
The worst damage was done at Walter Williams High School in Burlington, where cement poured into the school’s toilets caused $4,000 in damages. The vandalism at other schools included overturned desks, graffiti and garbage, according to the school district.
Since then, the school district says it’s identified 86 of the students involved. All but three are seniors who won’t be allowed to walk across the stage at graduation.
“I said the numbers will probably rise because we’re still investigating. This is not over,” Superintendent Dr. Dain Butler said.
Police have also charged seven students, five of whom are 18 years old, with misdemeanors.
Butler says there’s zero tolerance for this misbehavior. He adds that because things have changed over the years in how law enforcement responds to disturbances at schools, things could have been much worse.
“Think about this, guys: Eastern Alamance High School, the Mebane Police rolled up on that school with our kids. They’re trespassing. We’re trained these days to think active shooter. How do we protect our campus? Think about what could have happened that night,” he said.
Butler hopes that moving forward, students learn from this incident and don’t make the same mistakes.
“We’re preparing our kids to be adults, and in the real world, when you make a mistake, you’re held accountable. So, they may not see it now, but I’m really trying my best to prepare them for what’s next in our world,” he said.
The students not allowed to walk at graduation will have the opportunity to receive their diplomas after June 12.
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