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How to screw up your life in very short order

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  • How to screw up your life in very short order

    TEANECK — More than 60 Teaneck High School students were arrested after a senior prank where the teens sprayed silly string on floors, taped hot dogs to lockers, flipped desks, urinated in the hallways and smeared Vaseline on doors around the school early Thursday, authorities said.

    Officers discovered the vandalism after they responded to a burglary alarm at the school around 2 a.m., Teaneck police Acting Chief Robert Carney said at a news conference. When police arrived, several students ran from the building, while others hid inside.

    In the end, 62 high school seniors were arrested, including 24 adults, Carney said. The 38 juveniles were released to their parents.

    All of them will be charged with burglary and criminal mischief, Carney said. The adults were scheduled to appear in Teaneck Municipal Court.


    Mohamed Beretey, another senior, also said he didn’t take part in the prank.

    “I didn’t take part because I knew the consequences I was going to face,” he said. “I’m a football player, I’m an athlete, so I didn’t want my scholarships taken away from me.”

    Beretey is headed to Southern Connecticut State University in the fall. While the senior prank is a tradition, it hasn’t been this severe, Beretey said.

    But he offered up a possible explanation for the pranksters.

    “They wanted to leave with a bang,” he said. “You gotta leave with a bang right?”
    Yeah, they went out with a bang all right.

    I'm all for a good practical joke or two. But rule #1 in the pranksters' handbook is "first, do no harm." Turn all of the desks upside down in a classroom? "Roll" the front of the school? Fill someone's locker with shaving cream? No problem. It's a gag, but it does no permanent damage and doesn't hurt anyone. I even give a pass to breaking into the school at 2:00 in the morning to pull it off.

    But pissing in the hallways? Sorry, that's out of bounds, by a long shot. Doing anything that causes permanent damage is off-limits. It's extremely unfair to everyone else in the school, most especially the janitorial staff, to pull some stunt like that. These kids were basically a marauding horde, leaving a swath of destruction behind them, not a bunch of laughs at a funny situation. They deserve to be punished, and punished hard, and yes, that includes giving them criminal records. They probably need to bargain that down to criminal mischief or something, but for now, let the burglary charges stand and make the kids sweat a bit. This is a "tradition" at the school, but it will just escalate to more and more outrageous behavior unless these kids get a pretty good smackdown.

    If I were the judge presiding over these cases, I'd sentence each one of these kids to spend the next three glorious spring weekends in lockup at the county jail, and then I would sentence them to spending the rest of the summer doing work to improve schools in the area (or a more "depressed" area, if need be). Make them get out their paint brushes and mops and buckets and everything else and spend eight hours a day, all hot summer long, working to clean up and improve as many schools as they can. If they want spending money this summer, they're going to have to take up a second job after they have done their work to satisfy their community service.
    It's been ten years since that lonely day I left you
    In the morning rain, smoking gun in hand
    Ten lonely years but how my heart, it still remembers
    Pray for me, momma, I'm a gypsy now

  • #2
    Yeah, this is out of control. At my high school, it was standard every year for the senior class to prank by painting graffiti all over the outside maintenance shack. It was expected and done each year, with the "clean up" a repainting of the shack. Not a really big deal.

    Until my sister's year. First, the week before school started they spray painted "Teenage Wasteland" on the front of the school...bricks, mind you. That was a huge financial issue in terms of repair. Next, they burned the equipment shack to the ground, with the mowers and whatnot in there.

    She had a very bad class.
    Not where I breathe, but where I love, I live...
    Robert Southwell, S.J.


    • #3
      Meanwhile parents wonder why their property taxes keep going up.