A group of seniors in New Orleans will not walk across the stage at graduation because of a water fight.
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Students at Sophie B. Wright told local news station WWL that the fight happened Friday during lunch as a senior prank. Now, parents are reportedly furious and feel their children worked too hard to have a milestone like graduation taken away from them.
Monday afternoon, parents arranged a meeting with each other to figure out what they could do to fix the outcome of the incident. Students say they are heartbroken over the punishment handed down.
“I cried all this morning because I’m, like, really, graduation?” Kariell Bass, one of the students facing the punishment, told WDSU. “I’m the first child. My mom had me when she was 17. This is a big accomplishment for her and me.”
According to students the principal knew about the water balloon fight, and warned them several times not to do it inside…so they went outside during lunch.
“We just wanted to have fun for once,” said Lyric Fernandez, a student. “Now, we can’t even participate in senior activities or walk? What’s the point?”
The principal said at least one teacher and a student were hurt. Their punishment for all students involved ended up being a five-day suspension, no prom, no senior activities, and no walking at graduation. And parents and students say the punishment is too harsh.
“Let them clean your building. Let them do community service. Children make mistakes,” said Rebecca Solomon, the mother to one of the students. “They were having fun.”
The school issued a statement on the incident explaining their decision:
“Sophie B. Wright High School does not tolerate any behavior that disrupts our community or creates an unsafe environment. Our policies are clearly defined and our students are constantly reminded that their actions have consequences.
“The incident on April 5 caused injury to at least one teacher and one student. Additionally, school property was sprayed with water and a restroom was compromised. Both personal injury and effects on property are currently under investigation. It is possible that damage caused by these students will result in criminal and civil actions.
“The administration was aware of the potential action (described as a prank), and we advised staff, teachers and students that it was a violation of school policy. After reminding students several times during the week of April 1 about the importance of safety within school community and providing warnings about consequences, several students decided to coordinate and participate in the action on campus. They prompted the incident even though they understood that the police department and the non-profit School Board had been notified. The students were directed not to participate and warned that the consequences of their participation in the prank would be their elimination in senior activities, including graduation.
“The investigations into the damage to people and property will continue and further criminal and civil actions will be determined. In the meantime, we want to remind our school community of the importance of adhering to our policies that emphasize safety to all people and property within our jurisdiction.”
A board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday night, and parents say they plan to attend.
Celebrity High School Dropouts
1. Lil Wayne1 of 26
2. Eminem2 of 26
3. Drake3 of 26
4. Andre 30004 of 26
5. Fantasia5 of 26
6. Chaka Khan dropped out of school and now has a foundation that helps disadvantaged youth receive a quality education. PR6 of 26
7. 50 Cent was expelled from high school in the 10th grade for possession of crack and got his G.E.D. while in jail. (AP)7 of 26
8. Mary J. Blige dropped out of high school in the 11th grade and still regrets it. (AP)8 of 26
9. Bill Cosby dropped out of high school and eventually joined the Navy where he earned his high school diploma. (AP)9 of 26
10. Tyler Perry dropped out of high school when he was 16 but eventually earned his G.E.D. (AP)10 of 26
11. Robert DeNiro was a high school dropout. At age 68 was given an honorary doctorate of fine arts from Bates College. AP11 of 26
12. Berry Gordy dropped out of high school to pursue a boxing career. Apparently, he was better at music than in the ring.12 of 26
13. Aretha Franklin dropped out of high school at age 15 and received an honorary degree from Princeton at age 70. (AP)13 of 26
14. Pink dropped out of high school around age 15 but got her G.E.D. in 1998. (AP)14 of 26
15. Jay Z dropped out of high school and starting dealing drugs before finding salvation & money in hip hop. (AP)15 of 26
16. Chris Rock dropped out of high school at age 17 to pursue his dream of being a comedian. He later got his G.E.D.(AP)16 of 26
17. Oscar winning actor Sidney Poitier dropped out of school at age 13 to help his father tend to the tomato farm.(AP)17 of 26
18. Whoopi Goldberg struggled with dyslexia and out of frustration dropped out of school at age 17. (AP)18 of 26
19. Rock & Roll Hall of Famer David Bowie & his wife Supermodel Iman both dropped out of high school.(AP)19 of 26
20. Rapper, actor & author LL Cool J dropped out of high school to record his debut album.(AP)20 of 26
21. Mark Wahlberg recently admitted to being a high school dropout, but is planning on getting his G.E.D. (AP)21 of 26
22. Tracy Morgan dropped out of high school to pursue his dream of becoming a comedian.(AP)22 of 26
23. Johnny Depp dropped out of school at age 15 to become a rock star. career. We're guessing acting was his backup plan.(AP)23 of 26
24. Jessica Simpson dropped out of high school her senior year to pursue her music career. She later got her G.E.D.(AP)24 of 26
25. Olympic Gold Medalist George Foreman dropped out of high school and joined the Job Corps where he learned how to box. (AP)25 of 26
26. Quentin Tarantino dropped out of school at age 16 to pursue his dreams of acting. (AP)26 of 26
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High School Seniors Not Allowed To Walk At Graduation Due To Water Fight Senior Prank was originally published on blackamericaweb.com