Too Harsh? Louisiana School Punishes Kids Who Pulled Senior Prank, Criminal Charges Possible
A host of punishments have been levied against 12th-graders at a Louisiana charter school because they had a water balloon and water gun fight during lunch on Friday.
The moment, which was captured on video, was put on as a senior prank at Sophie B. Wright Charter School on Friday, April 5.
Students told WDSU Monday, April 8, that Principal Sharon Clark knew about the planned prank and that they were warned several times not to have the water balloon fight indoors.
The students conducted the prank outside and as a result, participating seniors have been suspended for five days. They’ll also have no prom, no senior activities, and will not walk at graduation.
“We just wanted to have fun for once,” said student Lyric Fernandez, who was crying, to WDSU. “Now, we can’t even participate in senior activities or walk? What’s the point?”
Some students told Fox 8 that some of their classmates have been expelled.
Outraged parents say the punishment is too harsh for what occurred.
“Let them clean your building. Let them do community service. Children make mistakes,” said Rebecca Solomon, one of the participating student’s mothers, to WDSU. “They were having fun.”
“I cried all this morning because I’m, like, really, graduation?” student Kariell Bass, who is Solomon’s daughter, tearfully explained to the news station. “I’m the first child. My mom had me when she was 17. This is a big accomplishment for her and me.”
Some students admitted at least some students did go inside the school. In a statement issued by the school, Clark said, “at least one teacher and one student” were injured. Plus, a restroom inside the high school was also compromised.
“Both personal injury and effects on property are currently under investigation,” the statement read. “It is possible that damage caused by these students will result in criminal and civil actions.”
The statement also noted that students received warnings all week about the consequences that could ensue as well as reminders concerning safety.
“They prompted the incident even though they understood that the police department and the non-profit School Board had been notified,” Clark said in the statement. “The students were directed not to participate and warned that the consequences of their participation in the prank would be their elimination in senior activities, including graduation.”
A revised statement on the school website was posted Tuesday regarding the planned senior prank day. It revealed students “used waterguns, eggs, vinegar, mustard and water balloons inside and outside of the building.”
Parents aren’t sitting back and taking the punishment, however. On Monday, April 8, they met to discuss how to ensure their students can walk across the stage when graduation rolls around on May 13.
“All I want is for these kids to walk the stage because they earned their diploma,” one mother said.
A board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday night, and parents say they’ll be in attendance.