A group of Marshall High School students will not take part in their Graduation Ceremony Friday due to their participation in a senior prank last Thursday.

“What happened was a group of kids, we came to the school at night to TP the school — just a little senior prank fun,” participating senior Ashton Phan told the Marshall News Messenger, noting they put toilet paper on the lawn and spelled out the year 2014 in toilet paper on the football turf.

A separate group of students entered the unlocked school turned over tables and discharged a fire extinguisher.

“They decided to suspend all of us and not allow us to walk on graduation night,” said Phan, an honors student on the Distinguished Achievement Program.

The group of students, which includes honor student Sharnice Rusk, felt that the punishment did not fit the crime.

“It was a little excessive for the simple fact it was toilet paper and tape,” Rusk said of the punishment.

The severity of the punishment has caused parents and guardians like Sherel Hurd, Rusk's grandmother, to question the school's decision.

“She’s supposed to be graduating in all white,” said Hurd. “She’s never been in any trouble, never did anything wrong. This man can’t have a heart,” she said of Superintendent Marc Smith, who reportedly made the decision to suspend students.

Hurd went on to cite the student handbook, which cites suspension as a three day punishment, which would conclude before final exams on Thursday.

Students were reportedly threatened to admit to the prank, or go to jail. Students who admitted to participating in the prank in written statements were suspended and banned from commencement. Those students who did not come forward have not been punished.

“They say they’re not going to do anything to them, and then they lie to them, scare them into telling something then they expel them,” the grandmother said.

When parents attempted to pay for the damages, their offer was declined by the administration who also declined to comment on on the situation to the Marshall News Messager.

“MISD can have no comment in regards to discipline or disciplinary matters,” MISD Public Information Officer David Weaver said.


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