Students who vandalized Bullock Co. High School will be allowed - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Students who vandalized Bullock Co. High School will be allowed to walk at graduation

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Eggs and cooking oil on one of the doors that had to be cleaned at BCHS. Eggs and cooking oil on one of the doors that had to be cleaned at BCHS.
UNION SPRINGS, AL (WSFA) -

Punishment tempered with mercy. That's the attitude Bullock County school superintendent Keith Stewart has taken in the case involving 23 seniors who admitted either causing or being part of a mess at Bullock County High School.

The school custodian walked in one morning last week and found a disheartening sight; eggs and cooking oil splattered on the walls, windows and floor. And that's not all; two live chickens roamed the main hallway, a senior school prank that failed to impress or humor anyone.

"We've investigated it and have decided to allow the seniors to march during graduation ceremonies," said Stewart.

School officials not only got confessions from all the students but video surveillance tape showing some of the teens arriving on campus the night they broke in.

Today, the entire senior class of 108 did a 'walk-through' of their graduation ceremony behind the school on the football field. Class president Brittany Perry was not among the culprits. Perry tells WSFA 12 News she is surprised her fellow classmates will be allowed to march but not upset about it.

"I think it's merciful. This is an important milestone for them they deserve a chance to walk," said Perry.

Stewart says in the beginning he was really angry and had plans to file charges against 8 of the 23 seniors who admitted to actually breaking in and vandalizing the school.

The confessions changed everything.

"It was their honesty," he said.

Keith Stewart says he still retains the right to file criminal charges against the students if they don't meet the school district's expectations; those expectations include community service and paying for the property damage.

So far the estimated cost is around $10,000. The majority of that is the cost it took to scrub away and clean it all up.

Mr. Stewart says the parents of the children involved have been very cooperative. The two-day community service for the 23 begins next Tuesday at Bullock County High School. The school principal will assign the students chores to do around the school. The students have 1 year to pay the restitution.

And so graduation is on tap for the 23 seniors. After tomorrow they go their separate ways but not without learning one final lesson about respect the hard way.

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