Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

April 12, 2013

Vandalism at Keys School may have been ‘senior prank’

TAHLEQUAH — Keys Public School officials continue to investigate the source of damage discovered April 4 in a hallway of the high school building.

According to Superintendent Billie Jordan, suspects entered the building through an unlocked classroom window, and scattered sardines on the hallway floor; sprayed mustard and ketchup on the walls; applied petroleum jelly to locker handles; and left water balloons and written messages in several lockers.

Jordan believes the incident may have been a “senior prank.”

“Last year, they used fire extinguishers in the gym, and I made them clean that up,” she said. “This year, there was mustard, ketchup and Vaseline in one of the hallways. They came in at night. It’s the same thing they do every year, and someone leaves a window unlocked. We’ve talked to 38 kids.”

Jordan said the school’s camera surveillance system didn’t yield any information, as the suspects entered the building with their faces covered and proceeded to cover the camera lenses.

“We never file a police report with the senior prank,” she said. “We’re still looking into and checking every rumor. We are taking it very seriously.”

School officials would like to put an end to the senior prank “tradition.”

“It was a mess,” Jordan said. “Our goal is to find out who did it and make them pay for the damage. We’re going to have to do some repainting. The mustard stained the walls. We certainly expect to get restitution.”

Jordan said the principal spoke to students who had written messages, left in their locker, and none of the notes suggested any serious threat.

“I know this one mother who is upset the suspects left notes for some of the kids. One note said mean things about her daughter,” she said. “The principal talked with her and asked if she’d been bullied, and she said no.”

Administrators want to make sure they have the right people responsible for the damage, Jordan said.

“We didn’t jump out and accuse the first kids whose names came up,” she said. “Like most schools, you try to do the right thing. You want to make sure it’s the right kid. There are consequences to what you do.”

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