62 High School Students Arrested for Vandalizing, Urinating in School as Part of Senior Prank [Poll]
A group of high school seniors in Teaneck, New Jersey, is in quite a bit of trouble after more than 60 of them were caught Wednesday night flipping over desks, covering door handles in petroleum jelly, and even urinating in the hallways—all as part of an extensive senior prank.
Thirty-eight minors were released to their parents after their arrests; 24 others, who are age 18, had to appear in municipal court Thursday morning to face charges of criminal mischief and burglary. Parents and students hid their faces and rushed to their cars as reporters tried to interview them when they were coming out of the courthouse.
The night’s events were part of an elaborate prank, in which as many as 100 students may have been involved. Many of them fled the school when police arrived. “It is possible that a few got away but the majority were caught,” said Teaneck Police Sergeant John Garland.
By Thursday morning, school officials had cleaned up the mess and classes had begun as usual, according to Superintendent Barbara Pinsak. “Teaching continues as we speak,” she said.
Some parents claimed that this sort of prank was a regular, annual thing and shouldn’t be taken so seriously. “It’s a yearly prank that’s done,” said one parent, Pat D’onofrio. “Police should not have arrested these kids.”
The acting police chief of Teaneck, Robert Carney, said otherwise, that while some kind of prank is normal, one of this size had not happened in “well over 10 years.”
Sgt. Garland added, “If this was a senior-class prank, I just don’t believe that a lot of them realize the seriousness of it as far as breaking into the building. That’s a burglary and I don’t think they understand that. It’s a very serious offense. Not to mention the criminal mischief, the vandalism that went on.”
Bergen County prosecutors are now in the process of deciding how to pursue the matter. The Board of Education will also consider ways to discipline those involved.