A schoolboy prank at Bradshaw Mountain High School brought serious consequences to four seniors Monday after they allegedly marked profanities on six teachers' doors, windows and walls, and removed and scattered across campus a number of planks and more than 150 small connective pieces from several stairway landings.
Prescott Valley Police Sgt. Brandon Bonney said the school resource officer and school administrators identified four male perpetrators who all made some admissions of involvement in at least portions of the event. The students, all 18 years old, received citations as adults on misdemeanor criminal trespass and criminal damage charges.
In keeping with standard policy, the Prescott Valley Tribune does not publish names of those charged with misdemeanors.
"If the school hadn't caught it and made immediate repairs, students could have fallen through and been injured," Bonney said.
Bradshaw Principal Kort Miner estimated repair and cleanup costs at $1,000 so far; the work is ongoing, as is discussion on further consequences. The maintenance team had the graffiti cleaned up before students arrived for school Monday, HUSD Supt. Paul Stanton confirmed.
"They have been given a nine-day off campus suspension and restitution," Miner said, adding that administrators are investigating whether these students will walk with their classmates at graduation.
The high school handbook lists consequences for vandalism or criminal damage to include detention, work detail, in-school suspension, off-campus suspension, police referral, restitution, and discipline hearing.
One teacher, who wishes to remain unnamed, said she doesn't want to know who wrote the offensive remarks on her classroom door.
"I don't know who they are. I'd rather not know. Because if they were in my class I don't think I could be in the same room with them. I don't want that to affect my teaching or the environment of my classroom," she said. "I don't want to see it happen to anyone else."
The teacher also said the maximum nine-day suspension isn't enough to send the "right message" after the students made what she calls "personal attacks" on teachers. More meaningful consequences would include no participation in prom night or graduation.
"They trashed our school and they get to be a part of a ceremony honoring our students?" she said. "They made a really bad choice."
Working with teenagers, a teacher has to have thick skin, she said, adding that many more kids respect her than don't. "I'm a professional. Life will be the same tomorrow."
Bonney said senior pranks have been around for a long time.
"There is a fine line that is often crossed with the execution of many of the pranks that are offensive, create damage and disrupt the educational process causing it to be a criminal manner," he said. "Acts such as these take away from the hard work put in by the senior class and scars the reputation of hundreds of hard-working students who would not likely condone such a representation of their class."