A group of Copiague High School seniors say officials went too far by prohibiting them from attending graduation after their school was vandalized during a senior prank.
Jada Cornwall says she’s just one of the dozens of students who have been barred from the commencement ceremony and the high school's campus.
“I understand that we as a class did something wrong, but to take something that we’re supposed to remember for the rest of our lives away, that’s too harsh,” Cornwall said.
Cornwall and the others were part of what was supposed to be this year’s senior prank, but school officials say the incident last Friday went too far.
In a statement, Copiague Superintendent Kathleen Bannon told News 4 New York that students broke into the high school, ransacked an office and vandalized the halls with eggs and shaving cream.
Cornwall says she wasn’t even in the building at the time of the prank, but parked across the street. She says police took the IDs of students and gave them to the principal. The next day those students spent six hours in the library as punishment and were eventually informed they wouldn’t be allowed to attend graduation.
Several seniors spoke to News 4, but didn’t want their names revealed or faces shown. They said they’ve issued written apologies and even offered to do community service — anything to walk in the graduation ceremony.
“I’m sorry for taking part in the prank,” one senior said. “I just wish I could take it back.”
“I think we all learned our lessons that it’s not okay to do that anymore,” another senior said. “We just want the opportunity to walk.”
The school district won’t confirm that students are being barred from the graduation, citing student privacy.
The students also say they've been barred from the high school's campus. They say that they'll be in the streets outside the school next Monday, when the school board meets. They plan to encourage the school board to allow them to don their caps and gowns.