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Nearly 90 students not allowed to participate in graduation ceremonies after senior pranks

Seven students were identified and charged for damaging eight toilets and six urinals at Walter Williams High School costing the district more than $4,000

ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. — The Alamance-Burlington School System's (ABSS) Board of Education released a statement Thursday stating that more than 80 students from the district will not be allowed to participate in upcoming graduation ceremonies. 

ABSS Board of Education Chair Sandy Ellington-Graves and Superintendent Dr. Dain Butler held a press conference Thursday sharing more details on the senior pranks. 

They said as of 2 p.m., a total of 87 students were involved in the senior pranks: 

  • 42 Williams High School students
  • 27 Eastern Alamance High School students  
  • 7 Graham High School students 
  • 7 Southern Alamance High School students
  • 3 underclassmen involved
  • 1 transferred out of school 

This number will likely increase as the investigation continues. 

No students from Cummings and Western high schools participated in the pranks and the entire senior class will be walking at their graduation ceremonies. However, Western High School is still under investigation. 

Dr. Butler said he will not reach out to the universities students were accepted to, but that is up to the students to talk to their university chancellors about. 

The charges will remain on their record. 

"Regardless of the extremities, we are not going to tolerate this kind of behavior," Dr. Butler said. "I'm trying my best to prepare them for the real world." 

Dr. Butler also said if they can pinpoint the specific damage to the student, then their parents will be contacted. 

Seven of these students were identified and charged by the Burlington Police Department for damaging eight toilets and six urinals at Walter Williams High School costing the district more than $4,000. 

These seven students were identified due to the extreme damage they caused. Others involved won't be charged due to the small amount of damage they caused. 

All six high school principals were told to let parents know if their students entered/trespassed school buildings and/or vandalized the outside and inside of the buildings. 

Graduating seniors are suspended from campus for the remainder of the academic year and will not participate in graduation ceremonies.

Other students who are not graduating seniors will be suspended for the remainder of this school year and will be recommended for additional consequences under the Code of Conduct. 

Students suspected of damage to school property will also be reported to law enforcement. 

As the high school investigation continues, the district says they anticipate increasing the number of students who will not participate in graduation. 

"We feel it is important to bring clarity to this unfortunate situation and to be transparent with the community," the district wrote in a statement. "This disruption of learning, monetary costs to our district, extra burden on our facilities team, and, at several campuses, the disregard for student safety simply cannot be tolerated." 

The Board of Education fully supports Dr. Butler's decision and is committed to zero tolerance in schools. 


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