LA Times - Sixty-two alleged student pranksters were arrested in Teaneck, N.J., early Thursday after police found a high school’s hallways littered with toilet paper, balloons, hot dogs, petroleum jelly and urine.
Among the arrested were 24 students who are 18 or older, and they were arraigned in adult court on charges of burglary and criminal mischief, Teaneck police told reporters. The other students were minors and were released from custody to their parents.
Acting Police Chief Robert Carney said at a news conference Thursday that the students were attempting to pull off an end-of-the-year senior prank. They had somehow broken into the school at about 2 a.m., but in doing so, tripped a burglar alarm that brought police to swarm the school and handle the dozens of arrests.
The students had allegedly managed to drag desks and chairs into the hallways and apply petroleum jelly to doorknobs. Walls had been written on and hot dogs were taped to lockers. Pictures showed silly string, balloons and toilet paper spread about a hallway. Worst of all, the Teaneck Public Schools district said crews had to be called in to clean up urine before students arrived for a regular day of classes.
Some of the students tried to run and others tried to hide, Teaneck Police Sgt. John Garland told reporters. But police said they think they caught most of the culprits.
“You could see that look, kind of a combination of fear and shock,” Garland said of the handcuffed students. “You could hear that remorse and regret was definitely setting in.”
The district has not said whether it will levy separate punishment on the students. Police were expected to release additional details later Thursday.
A spokeswoman for the Bergen County prosecutor's office told The Times that attorneys were reviewing the cases to decide whether to pursue existing charges or change them to less serious infractions.
I think "prank" is one of the most misused words out there. Right up there with "ironic" (thanks Alanis). I don't know who explained the concept of a prank to these kids while they were growing up, but apparently by senior year of high school, a month away from being college students, they still weren't as familiar with the concept as one would hope.
A prank is something that's amusing, thought out and with a clear intention behind the joke. It has to be functional in some way, you know, like making your school librarians who were the biggest ass suckers in the history of reading go chase a bunch of feeder mice that you unleashed throughout the library while also leaving a note under the principal's door saying "you may find the first 10, but good luck finding the other 20 we hid throughout the building" knowing full well that you didn't actually leave them anywhere else but there's no chance that a bunch of dumb teachers don't go bounding through the halls for the next week with their mouse hunting sensors on full blast. Something like that. THAT's a prank. It's amusing, it's relatively harmless*, it has a clear target and intention behind it, and the worst you're looking at is a face to face apology to the faculty and a detention or two. Is it the best prank ever? I won't say it, you can, but it's a definitive example of a prank, not just acting like assholes after the school's closed.
But who knows, maybe these kids are on some real next level type shit where this was all just a rouse to distract from the REAL prank that apparently now has to involve a 62-person prison break. I'll keep my eye on Teaneck for everyone, because if this thing is yet to go down it could be huge. I'll give them the immediate benefit of the doubt that they understand that peeing on stuff and greasing door handles and taping hot dogs on shit isn't fulfilling the requirements of a prank.
* I don't want to hear it about how that's abusive to the mice. That's what the school told us and I was thinking the whole time, really? These things are bred to be snake food, like that's they're function. Their lives were a month from over and their end would be terrifying. At least we gave them a chance to be free in an exotic setting for a bit. It's called animal rights, guys, okay? Sorry for caring.