New Orleans, LA—Some are calling it a harmless prank, but Sophie B. Wright school officials say the students did more damage than the viral video shows.
Videos available via the WWLTV show students gathering at the stairwell before going outside with water guns and water balloons. They are seen spraying each other with water guns while running around outside.
But on April 8, a statement from a school official explains that the students used water balloons, water guns, eggs, vinegar, and mustard, to vandalize the inside and outside of the school.
New Orleans’ Sophie B. Wright has banned multiple students from graduation, given suspensions for a ‘senior prank’ with water guns, balloons.
School: Prank also involved eggs/vinegar, plus injuries and a ‘compromised’ bathroom.
— New Orleans Advocate (@theadvocateno) April 9, 2019
The students who participated in the senior prank have so far been banned from walking the stage at graduation, banned from attending senior prom, and were suspended for five days.
And now, Sophie B. Wright High School Board President James Watson says the students involved may be facing criminal charges:
“The incident on April 5 caused injury to at least one teacher and one student. Additionally, school property was sprayed with water and a restroom was compromised. Both personal injury and effects on property are currently under investigation. It is possible that damage caused by these students will result in criminal and civil actions.”
The school principal, Sharon Clark said in a statement that the school doesn’t tolerate any behavior that creates an unsafe environment. “Our policies are clearly defined and our students are constantly reminded that their actions have consequences,” Clark said in a statement released to the media.
— Christina Watkins (@CWatkinsWDSU) April 8, 2019
Clark said the students were notified about the importance of safety within the school community during the April fool week and they decided to participate and coordinate in the action even though they understood that the police department and the non-profit school board has been notified.
“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,” said Clark.
Students barred from graduation after ‘senior prank’ water gun fight https://t.co/c4gM4ahQdg
— WWL-TV (@WWLTV) April 9, 2019
The school released statements before and after the incident occurred, warning students not to participate or face disciplinary action. Announcements were made during the school day, including a 2-minute announcement that was made 30 minutes before the prank happened, reported The Advocate.
Parents told that the punishment is too harsh. “I just pray this sister has some kind of heart. I understand the seriousness that she feels what happened but if you take anything, take the prom, suspend them for five days, but don’t take the graduation,” Travis Lyons, a parent said, according to WWLTV.
RT KLFY “Parents of some Sophie B. Wright students hope to send a message to the school’s principal after a number of students were banned from going to their own graduation ceremonyhttps://t.co/4AGUtpQ34E“
— LFT411 (@LFT411) April 9, 2019
The authorities have not mentioned how many students will be suspended or barred from senior activities and graduation.
Epoch Times reporter Venus Upadhayaya contributed to this report.