A senior prank at Wekiva High School in Apopka, Fla. resulted in eight arrests on vandalism charges, and now, it could result in roughly 140 students being prevented from walking at graduation.
Officials arrested the students and punished dozens of others after graffiti was discovered throughout the Orange County school. Deputies believe that the students caused $20,000 in damages by throwing flour, baby oil and glitter through the hallways. Fire extinguishers were also sprayed, and eggs were smashed inside.
While students claim a school employee let them enter the school, and they believe the faculty knew that a senior prank would be conducted, the district maintains that the students entered unlawfully.
The school district is unable to confirm how many students will not be allowed to walk at graduation with their peers due to student privacy laws, but students at the school told Channel 9 that over 140 have been informed they will not be permitted to walk.
"I just feel it's not right. Nobody's trying to hear our side of the story. They're just going off what they're hearing. Nobody's trying to hear the students' point of view," student Jakia Dickson said.
Some students believe the punishment is unjust because, though they were present when the incident occurred, they may not have taken part in it. One student, Wilnes Accius, told the station that he only played music at the scene.
"We did a prank — some of it went too far," said Accius. "[Some] got inside the school trashing it, but we shouldn't be held accountable for it."
However, administrators disagree stating that this is not a harmless senior prank —but vandalism. A student at the school has started an online petition in hopes that it will encourage the administration to allow the seniors to walk at graduation. It has nearly reached its goal of 5,000 signatures.
"[A] majority [of] students are First-Generation Graduates and now families are also being stripped of the opportunities to congratulate their graduates," the petition reads. "With this petition, we hope to gain back our privilege and honor to walk across the stage on graduation day, May 25th, 2019."
Representatives for Wekiva High School and Orange County Public Schools did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle's requests for comment.
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