‘Give me a break’: Students may not be able to walk in graduation because of senior prank

GLADSTONE, Oregon – Senior pranks for many people are a right of passage.

The prank seniors pulled at Glastone High School may mean many seniors don’t get to walk in graduation.

According to KGW, more than 3 dozen students went into the high school Friday before school and moved desks out of classrooms and into the hallway.

They also replaced some erasers with hot dogs.

Principal Kevin Taylor didn’t see the humor in it.

“The ‘prank’ was disrespectful to the staff who have put in 4 years of time and effort to give your student the best possible education and extracurricular opportunities available,” Taylor wrote in an email to parents.

Taylor said the prank cost $2092. He is planning to charge each of the 44 students involved and may not let them walk at graduation.

“I think it’s nuts,” said parent Corey Sticka.

“I mean they moved some desks around and put a hot dog or two on an eraser board… give me a break,” said Sticka.

Here’s the full email Taylor wrote to parents:

Dear Parent or Guardian,

This morning your student participated in what was supposed to be a Senior Prank. It was well planned but not well thought out considering the consequences of the events and the impact on staff and students, staff time, and staff attitude and feelings towards those who participated. We have a responsibility to those students in the building to have a workable learning environment. The underclass students have looked up to senior leadership and this is a breach in trust.

Students were warned during at least two different senior meetings that if they participated in a senior prank consequences could be up to and including students not walking graduation night. It was also stated that vandalism may be addressed by the police.

This event started around 5:00 this morning. Students brought a ladder, went across the roof, came into the courtyard, and then let other students into the building. This is referred to as breaking and entering. As soon as students entered the building, besides breaking and entering it is also considered trespass.

We have a custodian on staff who is trusting and also will do anything for students. They manipulated and abused his big heart and warm nature and took advantage of him to have him open rooms for them. He thought they were continuing some part of senior events and graduation and a surprise for teachers. Some students told him the furniture they were moving out would be put back. Again, taking advantage of this fine staff member.

Students moved classroom furniture from classes in three different hallways and blocked the halls. There were hundreds of desks moved from classrooms into the halls. Also, dry erase markers for teacher white boards were substituted with hot dogs.

This year GHS upgraded the cameras and all of the students were easily identified on video.

When Mr. Yates, Mr. Zerzan, and myself entered the building we then had to set about the task and time to move all the furniture back into rooms. That started at 6:15. As other staff arrived they pitched in and helped too. All staff in those three hallways then had to reset their rooms so we could have a teaching day for the other students. All staff involved did not have the opportunity to prepare for the day, grade papers, or set up learning activities to those students still here. This is the busiest time of the school year and we were attempting to have a great send off for this senior class. The senior assembly on Monday was supposed to be a celebration and recognition of academics, spirit, and character. This puts some awards into question. On Wednesday we have graduation.

Factoring in staff hours and costs to move furniture and reset the building, the total is $2092.32.

There were 44 students identified which ends up $47.55 each student. That is just the financial cost. I believe the emotional damage may be greater. The “prank” was disrespectful to the staff who have put in 4 years of time and effort to give your student the best possible education and extracurricular opportunities available.

The final determination of consequences beside cost will be considered over the weekend and I am in consultation with the district office.

Further information about consequences will be communicated on Monday.

Kevin Taylor, Principal

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