Punishment tempered with
mercy. That's the attitude
Bullock County school superintendent Keith Stewart has taken in the case
involving 23 seniors who admitted either causing or being part of a mess at
Bullock County High School.
The school custodian
walked in one morning last week and found a disheartening sight; eggs and
cooking oil splattered on the walls, windows and floor. And that's not all; two
live chickens roamed the main hallway, a senior school prank that failed to
impress or humor anyone.
it and have decided to allow the seniors to march during graduation
ceremonies," said Stewart.
School officials not
only got confessions from all the students but video surveillance tape showing
some of the teens arriving on campus the night they broke in.
Today, the entire senior
class of 108 did a 'walk-through' of their graduation ceremony behind the
school on the football field. Class president Brittany Perry was not among
the culprits. Perry tells WSFA 12 News she is surprised her fellow classmates
will be allowed to march but not upset about it.
"I think it's merciful. This is an important milestone for them they deserve a chance to walk," said Perry.
Stewart says in the
beginning he was really angry and had plans to file charges against 8 of the 23
seniors who admitted to actually breaking in and vandalizing the school.
The confessions changed
"It was their
honesty," he said.
Keith Stewart says he
still retains the right to file criminal charges against the students if
they don't meet the school district's expectations; those expectations
include community service and paying for the property damage.
So far the estimated
cost is around $10,000. The majority of that is the cost it took to scrub
away and clean it all up.
Mr. Stewart says the
parents of the children involved have been very cooperative. The two-day
community service for the 23 begins next Tuesday at Bullock County High School.
The school principal will assign the students chores to do around the
school. The students have 1 year to pay the restitution.
And so graduation is on tap for the 23 seniors. After tomorrow they go their separate ways but not without learning one final lesson about respect the hard way.
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