Seniors barred from graduation over Siegel prank - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Seniors barred from graduation over Siegel prank


At least three high school seniors will not be allowed to participate in graduation exercises and 150 others must perform community service after a prank left major damage at a Rutherford County high school, the district said Monday.

The principal of Siegel High School said all of the students involved in the incident early Friday morning will face some type of punishment.

The prank began when the child of a teacher was able to steal keys to the building without the teacher's knowledge, the district said. Several classrooms were ransacked, and oil was sprayed on floors.

The damage forced Siegel to dismiss students early Friday.

The student who took the keys and two others who sprayed oil will not be allowed to be part of graduation next Tuesday, spokesman James Evans said.

The principal is still weighing punishment for seven students who ruined wrestling mats by pulling them outside and covering them with water.

Early estimates put the damage at $7,000, but the principal said the students will still be allowed at graduation if the cost turns out to be lower.

The school is still reviewing police reports, surveillance cameras and student accounts to determine who else was involved.

The district said about 150 students thought to have been involved in the prank must complete eight hours of community service before graduation.

The hours can be served with outside nonprofits or during a school clean-up day led by the principal on Saturday. The district has invited reporters to cover the event.

Students can also work at a carwash to benefit the wrestling team that same day.

Siegel High senior Logan DeBerry has already started his community service work.

"I really didn't expect to be picking up trash the last day of school just to get our diplomas," DeBerry said.

It's a small price to pay, he said, for a senior prank that got way out of hand.

"Everybody regrets it, but a lot people - about 75 percent of the people - did not plan for all the big stuff to happen," DeBerry said. "We had a lot of little stuff planned out, stuff that wasn't damaging or vandalizing the school."

Some students said the punishment was fair.

"It's completely fair. It could be worse," DeBerry said.

But parent Shannon Summar said the punishment doesn't fit the crime.

"Personally, I don't think it was harsh enough for all the damage that was done to the school without us as taxpayers having to pay for it," Summar said.

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