Education

Senior prank will keep 35 students from attending their graduation

Thirty-five Baldwin County High School seniors won’t be walking at their graduation Saturday.

The students have been banned because of their involvement in a prank at the school Thursday morning. They met in the parking lot before classes around 8 a.m., all wearing black clothes and white masks, said Byron Wellman, school and community relations coordinator.

The students sprayed water guns and threw water balloons in the school’s cafeteria and adjoining hallway. Wellman said the incident raised security and safety concerns.

“Them being dressed in all black and masks, that’s something beyond a normal senior prank,” he said.

In a statement, Superintendent Noris Price said the incident “created a very dangerous and unsafe situation.” Two students not involved in the prank suffered panic attacks, and paramedics had to be called to help one of them, Wellman said. Both are in good health now.

“These (seniors) disregarded the directives of the resource officer, teachers and administrators creating a total disruption to the operation of the school,” Price said in the statement. “We have worked very hard these past few years to develop a culture of respect, excellent behavior and academic success. The actions taken by these students was contrary to that culture as well as our student code of conduct.”

After investigating the incident Thursday and Friday, administrators made the decision Saturday to not allow the involved students to participate in commencement, Wellman said. The students will still receive their diplomas and any honors they’ve earned.

“The parents of students who were directly affected by this are pushing back. They want to see their children walk,” Wellman said.

Andrea Honaker: 478-744-4382, @TelegraphAndrea

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