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WHS students banned from walking at graduation following senior prank

WHS students banned from walking at graduation following senior prank (WLUK/ Tim Flanigan)

WRIGHTSTOWN, Wis. (WLUK) -- Some high school seniors will not be allowed to walk at their graduation this month.

The Wrightstown School District says a senior prank went too far and ended in vandalism at the school.

On Monday, toilet paper still hung in the trees outside Wrightstown High School.

"We just wanted to toilet-paper it and have fun before we graduated, but it did not turn out that way," said Haakon Wagner, a senior at the school.

Now, five seniors will not be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony.

"We've been working hard for four years to get our diploma, now our family can't watch us," said Andrew Vandewalle, another senior at the school.

Vandewalle and Wagner are two of those seniors.

"Our parents, our grandparents, our aunts and uncles, none of them can come and watch, and some people are flying in," explained Vandewalle.

"What we did, yeah it was wrong, but it was meant to be light-hearted," added Wagner.

However, the police and the school district disagree.

The district says on May 7, a group of 20 students toilet-papered the trees outside the school. The district also says the students wrote graffiti on bricks outside the school.

The students say it could be easily cleaned up.

"There was some chalk written on the ground. All you have to do is get a bucket of water and wash it off," explained Wagner.

However, police say it went further when five of the students broke into the gym. Those are the seniors that will not be allowed to walk at graduation.

"In this situation it went into breaking into the school and damage was done so there is more than just TP-ing going on here," explained Wrightstown Police Chief Greg Deike.

The students say there was no damage done to the inside of the school, other than TP-ing and moving bleachers.

Deike said all the students involved in the incident received citations, depending on the level of their involvement.

"There could be citations anywhere from criminal damage of property, to disorderly conduct, to entering a locked building," said Deike.

When asked if he could see why the police and district say it's breaking and entering, Wagner said yes.

"Yeah, we do see that, but that's why I wanted to come on the news and share our side of the story, which was that is has been a little blown out of proportion, in my opinion," said Wagner.

The district wouldn't go on camera since the incident is still being investigated by the police department.

In a statement, the superintendent said

We have such high expectations for our students and, more often than not, our students meet and often exceed those expectations. It is so disappointing when students make decisions like the ones made on Sunday night. It not only impacts them, but their families, their classmates, and the entire school. It is my hope that the students learn from this decision and begin to rebuild the trust that was damaged because of their actions.

Wagner said he didn't regret what he and the others students did.

"I don't regret it, if I were to do it again I would make sure that we didn't go in the school."

The Wrightstown graduation is May 26.


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