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Huntsville High School: District pursuing prosecution for campus vandalism

In a message to parents, the district said it does not tolerate vandalism.

Posted: May 6, 2019 4:18 PM
Updated: May 7, 2019 2:42 PM

Huntsville City Schools says Huntsville High School's campus has been vandalized.

In a message to parents, the district said it does not tolerate vandalism, and it plans to prosecute the offenders for the prank.

Courtesy of a WAAY 31 viewer

Huntsville High School's principal, Aaron King, said the school will enforce the maximum consequences. They have encouraged parents to talk to their children and make sure they're aware of ramifications involved in hoaxes and pranks.

A spokesperson with the district, Keith Ward, said the school has security cameras that would have caught students vandalizing the school. He said school officials likely spent the day watching the footage and investigating.

Ward said, right now, it's looking like a small group of students are facing disciplinary action.

"The consequences as outlined in the HCS Behavioral Learning Guide include up to out of school suspension. The school has stated that they are looking to enforce the maximum consequences for those individuals responsible. The school administration also has the discretion to utilize restorative practices with the goal of remedying the harm done and to help prevent a reoccurrence of the specific behavior. Restorative practices can allow a student to perform assigned service work in exchange for restoration of lost privileges such as participation in a school activity," Ward said.

WAAY 31 talked to one Huntsville High School senior who said she was suspended for five days for her involvement.

"While we all participated, there are some people that went a little bit further than others, and we all got an equal punishment," the student said.

According to Lt. Michael Johnson with Huntsville police, cheese, ketchup, mustard, eggs and toilet paper were used in the prank. He said city workers led the charge on the cleanup, however, a handful of the 30-plus students identified as being involved helped with cleaning. He said the cleaning lasted from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

"There are some kids who threw cheese on the windows. They had silly string, ketchup, mustard, shaving cream," the student said.

Johnson says a criminal case report was made by a school resource officer, and any student arrests will be up to the school.

Below is the email sent out Monday afternoon to Huntsville High School parents:

This past weekend, I was informed by our HCS Security Department that our campus had been vandalized. We will not tolerate incidents of this nature, especially when they cause disruption to the school day and result in countless hours of work for school & district staff and law enforcement.

As with other incidents of this nature, we will file police reports and are working with law enforcement and our HCS security department to fully investigate. Students need to be aware that police are taking these incidents very seriously and are pursuing prosecution even when such incidents are intended as pranks.

Page 12 of the HCS Secondary Behavioral Learning Guide lists consequences for “damaging, defacing, destroying, or taking property that belongs to another person or the District” that include Level 2 “Administrative and in-school consequences” and up to Level 3 “out-of-school consequences”. We will seek to enforce the maximum consequences for those individuals found to be in violation of these policies.

I encourage you to talk with your child about the seriousness of incidents such as this and the importance of reporting suspicious activities, threats or disturbing information to a trusted adult. Please make sure your child is aware of these ramifications and that he or she understands hoaxes or pranks that create a disruption to our campus will not be tolerated.

If you or your student has information regarding this investigation, I encourage you to contact my office. We expect all students to adhere to the highest ethical practices and conduct. We will not tolerate behaviors that compromise the well-being of our students, staff or campus. Thank you.

Very Respectfully,

Aaron King, M.Ed., Ed.S.
Principal HHS

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