SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) — A senior prank shut down a Dauphin County high school on Thursday, May 25.
According to the Susquehanna School District, officials were alerted of a senior prank at the high school which requires substantial cleanup. Because of this and out of an abundance of caution, the school district made the decision to close the school for in-person learning and events on Thursday.
Videos circulating on social media appeared to show the chaos and mess in large parts of the high school, but the district did not go into detail about exactly what happened.
Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo said he needs teens and young adults need to know actions can have serious consequences.
“It does seem like it’s gotten worse, in terms of the pranks,” he said. “You don’t get a free pass just because it’s a graduation stunt.”
Chardo said in many of these cases, one or two student might come up with the plan, while the rest are just joining in. At the end of the day though, that does not matter.
“They would be liable for what everybody else did,” Chardo said.
Susquehanna Township School Superintendent Dr. Tamara Willis said in a statement that they “have assessed the building and the damage is all surface level.” The statement also noted that there has been no damage to the infrastructure, however, the prank was “widespread.” Willis added the school district is making students who participated help with the cleanup.
Chardo said even surface level damage could hold severe consequences.
“So if we’re talking about thousands and thousands of dollars worth of damage and remaining behind when the school was no longer open, we could be talking about felony conduct,” Chardo said.
At this point no charges are being filed against any students, but Chardo said this should be a reminder for any would-be pranksters to consider what could happen after the prank.
“You have to take a pause and think, ‘Well, wait a second this isn’t right. I wouldn’t do this two months ago, I can’t do it now,'” he said.
According to the district, the administration will be communicating developments and updating parents and community stakeholders when more information becomes available.
You can see Dr. Willis’ full statement below.
“We have assessed the building and the damage is all surface level. There has been no damage to infrastructure. We are accustomed to senior pranks that have been confined to an isolated area of the building. However, this prank was widespread and will require several hours of clean up. A part of the administration’s response to address this behavior will be to require student participants to assist with the cleanup.”Dr. Tamara Willis STSD Superintedent of Schools
Susquehanna Township Police Chief Rob Martin said police conducted an initial investigation, but that the district asked to handle the situation internally.