A group of seniors have been told they won’t be able to walk at their graduation because of pranks they played at the school on June 6 and students have started a twitter-based protest.
A letter sent to parents from the school says, “Throughout the day we experienced a number of unfortunate events that caused a major disruption to our school day.”
Principal William Bates told parents that he was notified by the building engineer at about 5 a.m. that the exterior of the building had been vandalized with paint. The students also poured baby oil on the floors in the main hallway, in the gym lobby and on two staircases.
The letter says students also pulled a fire alarm causing the entire school to evacuate on a day that students were scheduled to take SOLs and final exams. One person with knowledge of the incidents told Patch the fire alarm was not pulled by a senior.
“Today’s incidents caused a major safety concern for every student and adult in the building,” Bates’ letter says. “Any student who is caught engaging in these types of disruptive behaviors will face a suspension from the school and possible recommendation for expulsion.”
“Any student who disengages a fire alarm will be recommended for expulsion and charged by the police. Seniors caught engaging in these types of disruptive behaviors will not be permitted to participate in any of the scheduled graduation activities.”
NBC Channel 4 reports that the prank was pulled by Herndon senior Ashkan Naderi and five of his friends, but that they had nothing to do with the fire alarm being pulled. They have been suspended. Three of them, including Naderi have been banned from walking across the stage at Thursday's graduation.
The group of boys and their classmates are trying to protest via Twitter with the hash tags #lettheboyswalk and #lettheboyswalk2012. Students also wore T-shirts to school with the hashtagged phrase on them, but some students said on Twitter the administration made them take the shirts off.
Note: This story was updated at 2:18 p.m. to clarify that the fire alarm was not pulled by a senior student, according to one source.
Update - June 11, 4:15 p.m.: The Fairfax Times is reporting that Naderi and others involved take responsibility for the baby oil only, and the fire alarm and spray paint were separate incidents.
A sample of the messages on Twitter:
• shooomaker: I just want to GRADUATE. Like I'm not trying to escape punishment, but make it anything other than not walking...that's alllll I want