Effingham County High: Senior prank or serious crime?

Effingham County High: Senior prank or serious crime?

EFFINGHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Was it a senior prank or a serious crime?

That's what Effingham County investigators and school officials are trying to figure out after several incidents at Effingham County High School took place over several days.

Nearly 30 students have been suspended for vandalizing property. Investigators say they've identified students at the high school who they believe were involved in spray painting explicit words and pictures around campus.

According to the Effingham County School District Superintendent, seven people have been suspended from school for vandalizing school property with spray paint.

We were able to obtain some pictures but all of them were too inappropriate to post. In the photos, you can see a handicap parking sign was painted on, a table near a fence outside and what appears to be parts of the concrete in the parking lot.

There was a huge food fight in the cafeteria Tuesday afternoon, and officials tell us at least 20 students have been suspended from that incident.

Many parents, students and folks around the community have been blowing up social media the last few days, some say it was all just a prank, others who say it all went too far.

"Fun is fun but this is not funny. Tax payers have to sacrifice for you to have wonderful schools so treat them as your home. How dare any of you say this class has done nothing wrong," said one person on social media.

One Effingham County High School student says after being suspended for damaging school property, that it was a "prank that went too far."

He's been suspended for five days and is still unsure whether he will be able to walk at graduation.

Brandon Hudson says there was a group of students who planned the food fight on Tuesday. He decided to join in at the last minute and throw some chocolate milk. He is one of 20 students involved who has been suspended for participating in the food fight.

Hudson says every year the seniors plan pranks during the last month of school, but this year it just went too far.

"It wasn't worth all the trouble – we all thought it was going to be a food fight and then we would just clean it up but obviously there were laws that were broken," said Hudson.

He says he's never been in trouble before and accepts the responsibility.

Those involved in the incident were not only suspended from school, they will be required to pay restitution for damages, and will be assigned to work detail during senior week.

The Effingham County School District Superintendent released the following statement:

Approximately 20 students were involved in a disruptive and property damaging food fight during one lunch period at Effingham County High School. This food fight was premeditated and students involved disregarded directives of teachers and administrators. Students who were involved in the incident were suspended from school, required to pay restitution for damages, and will be assigned to work detail during senior week. Students who complete the required consequences and abide by the Student Code of Conduct will be allowed to participate in class night and graduation ceremonies. Order must be maintained for the benefit and safety of all students and school property must be protected for our supportive community of taxpayers.

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