Should 16 Fuquay-Varina High School seniors be barred from their graduation ceremony on Sunday for their activities at the school?
As noted in today's article, the students say it was only a harmless prank when they hopped a school fence on Memorial Day and sprayed chocolate syrup and mustard on the walls of the courtyard and peanut butter on the door knobs. Another sprinkled forks and toiler paper all over the ground.
But Wake County school officials say it was vandalism and trespassing. They say the students also stuck feminine products on the walls, threw eggs and bologna on the walls, wrote profanity in chalk and drew phallic symbols on the walls of the courtyard.
"Their actions have consequences," said Michael Evans, Wake's chief communications officer.
Evans said that Principal Edward McFarland could have filed criminal charges instead of just barring the students from Sunday's graduation ceremony.
But Michael Mackey, 18, one of the seniors who has been barred from graduation, said he didn’t understand why it merited such a strong punishment. “It was just a little high school prank,” he said.
Mackey said those involved included student council members, including two who were supposed to speak at graduation.
The students signed a letter of apology and delivered it to McFarland. They proposed holding fundraisers to cover the cost of the cleanup in exchange for letting them walk at graduation.
Parents of the students have also talked about paying the cleanup costs or having the students do community service
But McFarland wouldn't bite.
“His only argument to us was ‘what about the class next year?’ ” said Elias Bender, 18, one of the seniors involved.
Bender said the students are showing they're remorseful over what they had done.