UPDATE: Suspects in Wayne High School Vandalism Not Allowed at Graduation

By: Olivia Fecteau; Bill Murray; Andrew Colegrove Email
By: Olivia Fecteau; Bill Murray; Andrew Colegrove Email
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UPDATE 5/22/13 @ 10:50 p.m.
WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Seniors at Wayne High School graduated Wednesday evening, but about 20 seniors were not allowed to participate because of their involvement in a senior prank.

The students are accused of breaking into the school and dumping blood, oil, urine and deer carcasses all over the classrooms and hallways.

At Wednesday’s graduation ceremony, there was no mention of the prank or the classmates missing from the event. One parent of a graduating senior said he felt the school made the right decision in excluding the students.

"They're adults now, and they should be thinking like that, and I think they got what they deserved. My personal opinion,” Doug Bennett said.

Bennett said his daughter knows many of the students who could not participate Wednesday.

“A lot of them are disappointed, and I’m sure a lot of them regret what they did,” Bennett said. “but like I said, it's kind of the consequences when you do something wrong.”

At the graduation, the principal, valedictorian and senior class vice president all spoke to the seniors. The principal, Sara Stapleton, told the group they were a unique and impressive class and spoke about them moving on with their lives.

“They want to go out, you know, leave some legacy behind going out,” Bennett said. “Sometimes you’ve got to think, and sometimes it’s the way you were raised too, and sometimes kids do things without their parents’ consent.”

Other parents and relatives of seniors did not want to go on camera, but they told WSAZ.com this prank was beyond most senior pranks and was harmful. They said they felt the school made the right decision by holding the graduation and punishing only those involved with the prank.

The superintendent and principal did not comment on the situation Wednesday evening. The students involved may be facing criminal charges.

UPDATE 5/20/13 @ 11:30 p.m.
WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The 20 senior students accused of breaking into Wayne High School Friday will not be walking across the stage at their graduation ceremony.

The Wayne County Board of Education held an emergency meeting at Spring Valley High School Monday night to discuss disciplinary measures for the students accused of pulling a senior prank State Police say went too far.

After listening to State Police and the prosecuting attorney in executive session, board members decided to expel all 20 students.

Windows at the school were broken, deer carcass blood, motor and vegetable oil were smeared in some of the hallways and in one classroom. There was also deer urine poured in the carpet and chairs in the vice principal's office.

Board member Vicki Boyd says the students are not permitted to participate in the school’s graduation ceremony Wednesday and are not allowed on school property.

State Police say if the students agree to pre-trial diversion requirements such as performing community service and paying for the damage, which is estimated at this point to be more than $2,500, they can avoid facing criminal charges.

Wayne senior Amy Napier says there were two groups of students who broke into the school on the same night. She says her group's plan was to line the hallways with thousands of Styrofoam cups filled with water.

Napier says her group didn't know the other group was going to be there or how severe their prank was going to be, and she says it's unfair students in both groups are facing the same punishment.

"We were immature in thinking by staying there, and letting them do their prank, that their actions would not affect us,” Napier said. “However, they have. We can't walk across the stage at graduation because of the deer incident, even though we weren't involved in that part of the prank."

"The problem is we can't determine which group did what," board member Vicky Boyd said.

Boyd says in years past students have broken into the school for senior pranks, but the damage has never been this severe.

"Hopefully in the future kids will do pranks that do not destroy property or violate teachers' property,” Boyd said. “Don't do it within the school limits."

UPDATE 5/20/13 @ 12:05 p.m.
WAYNE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- There are new janitors at Wayne High School Monday. They're on the clock, but not getting paid.

Wayne County's School Superintendent, Lynn Hurt, tells WSAZ.com that many of the students accused of vandalizing the school last week, on are property cleaning what's left behind from last week's senior prank.

West Virginia State Police Sgt. Robert Perry says it's "a senior prank that went too far."

Windows at the school were broken, deer carcass blood, motor and vegetable oil were smeared in some of the hallways and one classroom. There was also deer urine poured in the carpet and chairs in the Vice Principal's office.

"If you break windows and alter school security cameras you know exactly what you're doing," says Sgt. Perry.

Superintendent Hurt says there's an assignment sheet the suspects are tackling and will be working eight-hour shifts throughout the week.

A special meeting of the Wayne County School Board will be held Monday night, at 9 p.m. at Spring Valley High School to address the vandalism.

Graduation for Wayne County Seniors will go on as scheduled.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

UPDATE 5/20/13 @ 10:50 a.m.
WAYNE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- There will be a special meeting of the Wayne County School Board Monday night to deal with the vandalism at Wayne High School last Friday.

Three Board Members called the meeting Monday morning. The members are Christopher Dean, Darik Adkins and Vicky Boyd.

The meeting will take place at 9 p.m. at Spring Valley High School. This will be following the graduation ceremony for Spring Valley students that starts at the Huntington Civic Arena. 7 p.m.

A special Board meeting to deal with the vandalism was originally scheduled for Monday, but that meeting was canceled over the weekend. That meeting has now been replaced by this called special meeting.

According the BOE website, the agenda for the meeting is to “consider and possibly take any appropriate Board actions or authorize any administrative actions with regard to acts that may have been committed by Wayne County students on May 17, 2013, that resulted in disruption of normal school activities, destruction of property, acts of vandalism and the commitment of other possible illegal acts at Wayne High School.”

West Virginia State Police are investigating the vandalism.

According to WVSP, windows were broken and deer carcasses were smeared in several rooms.

As many as 20 seniors are suspected of being involved in prank.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

UPDATE 5/19/13 @ 11 p.m.
WAYNE, WVa. (WSAZ) -- The Wayne County Board of Education has canceled a special meeting that was set to consider whether to pursue charges in the vandalism of a high school.

Board members had planned to meet Monday night to discuss the vandalism that occurred Thursday night at Wayne High School.

State police say windows were broken and deer carcasses were smeared in several rooms.

As many as 20 seniors are suspected of being involved.

School board president JoAnn Hurley says that the investigation likely won't be completed and reviewed by school administrators before the special meeting was to be held.

Hurley says the criminal investigation likely will be considered at a regularly scheduled meeting.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

ORIGINAL 5/17/13 9 p.m.
WAYNE, WVa. (WSAZ) -- Janitors will be in Wayne High School this weekend to attempt to finish cleaning up after vandalism on Thursday night.

"This isn't just a senior prank," says Sgt. Robert Perry. "Whomever's responsible, it went much further than that. We're looking at possible felony charges."

Walking the halls of Wayne High School Friday afternoon, visitors were hit with a smell of bleach and rotting meat.

Vandals broke windows at the school to gain entry, and brought with them the insides of deer carcasses and had them smeared in several rooms.

"They also went through several rooms, including the assistant principal's office," says Sgt. Perry. "They were spreading deer urine on the chairs, desk and carpet. The blood from the deer meat, in one of the rooms, has seeped into the tile floors."

WV State Police are handling this investigation. Troopers spent part of Friday afternoon, looking at surveillance video from the local Walmart and have identified possible suspects seen purchasing similar items used in the prank.

Sgt. Perry tells WSAZ.com, Thursday night was Senior Awards Night at Wayne High School. He says there's a suspect list that the WVSP are looking over that includes about 20 names.

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