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Thumbs down: Vandalism by students goes way over the line

May. 21, 2013 @ 10:45 PM

Every spring brings its share of high school pranks.

Few are truly harmless, but in most cases, rain washes the toilet paper from the trees and a good mop will clean up the water balloons in the cafeteria.

But too often, students lose sight of the line between a forgivable stunt and outright vandalism.

That seems to be what happened at Wayne High School last week. About 20 seniors will not participate in the school's graduation ceremony Wednesday night, after thousands of dollars of damage was done to the school last Thursday night.

The students are suspected of breaking windows, dousing floors with vegetable and motor oil, and scattering deer intestines and urine throughout school property. They also left 1,800 disposable cups of water lining the hallway.

School board members learned Monday night that the damage exceeds the $2,500 minimum for a felony destruction of property charge. That not only includes the broken windows, but the clean up needed for the blood and urine that soaked into the floors and tiles.

The group apparently included top students, with scholarships and college plans. That makes the stunt all the more senseless. These teens not only showed a lack of respect for their school, but also little common sense. School officials said surveillance cameras made the culprits readily identifiable.

In addition to their school punishments, the students will meet with the county prosecutor about criminal charges. A pre-trial diversion program should allow most to wipe the crime from their record with community service.

We suspect some are already kicking themselves for going along with the crowd. Hopefully, the next time they face such a decision, they will have the courage to stand up to their friends and say, "This is wrong."

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