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MHS seniors suspended, barred from graduation after school prank - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

MHS seniors suspended, barred from graduation after school prank

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(Photo source: Erin Buchanan/KTBS 3 News) (Photo source: Erin Buchanan/KTBS 3 News)
(Photo source: Erin Buchanan/KTBS 3 News) (Photo source: Erin Buchanan/KTBS 3 News)
(Photo source: Erin Buchanan/KTBS 3 News) (Photo source: Erin Buchanan/KTBS 3 News)
MARSHALL, Tx. (KTBS) -

A senior prank lands a group of East Texas students in hot water, and a walk across the stage at graduation in jeopardy.

About 50 seniors were involved in the prank last Wednesday, but it's the handful of those who say they told the truth that are now being punished.

"Some children went inside and flipped some tables upside down, knocked over some trash cans, took some pictures off the walls," says MHS senior Rachel Mellinger.

That's when the prank took a turn this group of Marshall High School seniors say they had no part in.

"The rest of us stayed outside and were rolling and duct taping the entrances and stuff like that," Mellinger says.

That was Wednesday night.

Friday morning, these seniors, most of whom are in the honors program, say they were called into the office to give statements about their involvement, which included placing toilet paper and duct tape on the school parking lot and lawn.

But in this case, the students say honesty wasn't the best policy.

"She basically made it seem like we would get a slap on the wrist for telling the truth and gave us a slap in the face on Monday," says senior Sharnice Rusk.

The students were given three days suspension and were banned from walking in their graduation ceremony on Friday.

"I've worked my whole life, 13 years of school to get to this point and to walk across that stage," says Nicole Terravella. "I've never been in trouble, never gotten a referral."

"I feel pretty crappy, because I have a little sister who looks up to me, and I have family coming in town from Vietnam," explains Ashton Phan. "I'm the first person in my family to graduate from high school."

The group says others lied about their role in the prank, which reportedly involved entering the school, setting off fire extinguishers, turning over tables, and removing pictures from walls.

So far, the students say those seniors haven't been punished.

And with family expected in town from near and far, the graduation ban has parents suffering as well.

"I'm real disappointed, real disappointed with the school board, and actually everybody, you know," says father Armando Rubio.

"Taking away them marching... that's a scar. That's a scar on them for the rest of their life," says Sharnice Rusk's grandmother Sherel Hurd.

The kids say they fully expected consequences, just nothing this severe. Some parents even offered to pay for any damage.

But Marshall ISD officials aren't saying much about the incident.

Communications Officer David Weaver issued a written statement to KTBS, saying - in part - that they were "notified by Marshall Police early Thursday morning regarding acts of vandalism at Marshall High School and at Maverick Stadium. MISD can have no further comment in regards to discipline."

One mother has even requested in writing to have an emergency school board meeting in order to speak with officials about the matter, and some of the students are planning a rally ahead of Friday's graduation ceremony.

The Marshall Police Department is also investigating the incident, but it's not yet clear if any charges will be filed.

The suspended students will be able to pick up their diplomas on Monday.

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