Every year around this time, news stories start to appear about high school seniors being arrested for vandalism masquerading as pranks. These stories get a lot of play on TV because of the visual aspects.
Given all the news coverage, are there still teens who don’t know that it’s illegal to create thousands of dollars of damage by spray-painting graffiti all over town? Could they not understand that they risk criminal prosecution and that an arrest could complicate their high school graduations, college admissions and scholarships?
Apparently, some East Paulding High School students didn’t understand this. Nineteen were arrested this weekend after a passerby spotted the suspicious activity before daybreak Sunday and called police. The students spray-painted “seniors” and “2012″ on dozens of campus buildings and signs.
The AJC story raises the question of how it was possible for this many Paulding County high school students to be roaming the streets before daybreak.
Where did their parents think they were?
I was disappointed to read that clean-up crews were called out to repair the damage. I would prefer the responsibility fall on those 27 students.
Among the more than 100 places allegedly tagged by the students: buildings, roadways, signs, a county-owned pickup truck and the large brick entranceway to a nearby subdivision.
School officials told Channel 2 that they knew that at least 27 people, mostly students, were involved in the vandalism. So far, 19 have been arrested, Paulding sheriff’s Cpl. Ashley Henson told the AJC.
“The detective that is working the case is still compiling information and explained to me that more arrests are probable,” Henson said Monday.
Clean-up crews spent much of the day Sunday pressure-washing and scrubbing the graffiti off the school property.
“We’ve had senior pranks plenty of times,” East Paulding assistant principal Greg Musgrove told Channel 2, “but nothing to where this much damage has been done.”
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog