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Teens no longer faces felonies after senior prank arrests

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. – Felony vandalism charges filed against a group of Varina High School students who pulled a senior prank last May were amended to misdemeanor destruction charges during a Thursday court hearing. The trespassing charge each student faced was Nolle prossed. That means while the charges were set aside, they could be brought back at any time.

The students were given deferred disposition. That usually means charges could be dropped if the students stay out of trouble.

More than 1,000 people signed a petition in June that urged Henrico Schools and Police to drop felony charges against the students.

“Senior pranks are a common rite of passage in schools across America. Typically, students who engage in them are asked to make amends by cleaning up their messes, or they may lose the privilege of enjoying senior perks like going on a fun trip,” online petition author Sabrina Stevens wrote.

After a June court hearing the mother of one teenager said she and her daughter would accept any punishment, but thought the felony vandalism charges were excessive.

“Chocolate sauce, syrup, rice, flour, and eggs were thrown onto numerous exterior areas of the school,” Henrico Schools spokesman Andy Jenks said when describing the senior prank. “In addition, trash cans were dumped and placed on the roofs of several buildings, and permanent marker was used to write on doors and walls. Most of the damage was cleaned up quickly that morning.”

The teenagers are due back in court in January.

16 comments

  • Jay

    About time. What a waste of tax $$ charging these kids. It was a prank. Clean it up and good luck at college!
    Meanwhile, several of our christian, conservative posters will still want to throw them in jail.

    • Clayton Bigsby

      These kids were seniors that made a mistake. They should have to clean it up and maybe a little community service for punishment. Felony charges were uncalled for from the beginning.

    • E Marshall Buckles

      Hi, conservative, Christian poster here! ;> Um, NO, I do NOT want these young people in jail. I did think that felony charges were excessive. I agree with Clayton Bigsby, also posting here, that these kids were Seniors who made a mistake. In a first instance situation like this, sit them down, explain to them about the law, about why we should NOT be doing things like this (yes, there WILL be a quiz ;>), admonish them to never do something like this again, tell them that, wherever they go, they might not get off so easily next time and why they should be law abiding citizens and stay out of trouble (especially the part about how a criminal record can follow you the rest of your life and make it harder for you to get jobs, etc.), give them some community service to do then let them go. I’d also advocate asking the local news media to delete the story about them and their pictures so future potential employers cannot “Google” them and find out about this.

      • Jay

        Um…agree with most of both your posts.
        You do not speak for all christian conservatives…..not even, most. You may remember the posts from when they were first arrested.

    • E Marshall Buckles

      Simply by way of explanation, they have already been arrested. Then they went to court and the charges were reduced. I know that some states have a process by which someone can go to court and get the arrest record purged, in some situations, but I don’t know if you can do that in Virginia or not. I hope that these young people – and others reading and hearing about it – will take a lesson from this and not do things like this in the future. I think that what they have gone through so far should be punishment enough although I might add a little community service.

  • Love Life!

    They need to do major community service and pay for the cleanup cost. They thought they were acting big during their actions, now they are “small”! They better not try such stupid things again and get on the right track!

    • gmama

      They are on the right track, they are seniors getting ready to get their degree and hopefully go to college. They are not the first seniors to pull pranks, it happens all the time, just some get a pat on the back, others are charged as felons.

  • Robbie

    The kids wrote things also or that’s what was initially reported. No one will report what they wrote so does anyone know? Since it is so hush hush I imagine it was racist in nature. Will someone with knowledge tell me if that’s the case?

    • marie

      Stop trying to stir things up and make something out of nothing. They probably wrote class of 2014, etc. Something not newsworthy. Trust, if it was something racist, they would report it (to make for a BIG story) and/or they wouldnt drop the felony charges.

      • Robbie

        I’m not trying to stir anything up. For years the media has printed racial slurs written by whites about blacks. I have often thought that the media doesn’t do the same when the roles are reversed. I just want to know what was written to prove me right or wrong.

  • krista

    I hae absolutely no sympathy for these spoiled, rotten brats. Felony vandalism against the property of another cannot be explained away as a senior prank. There is no excuse for their destruction. As a senior, I never thought about such a stupid, worthless action. It is my understanding that this particular group were problem children anyway in the school system. Way to go people, try to justify their stupidity and further teach them not to be accountable for their actions. I wonder how the 1000 signature idiots would feel if it was their personal property damaged to the degree and clean up expense that was done to the school.

    • Erica

      And just where did you hear they were problem students????? Most seniors pull stupid pranks. I’m guessing you’re perfect right??? WRONG, I’m sure you did crazy things as a teen. I agree with everyone on here except YOU!!!

      • krista

        One of the teachers that worked at that school made that comment. Perfection is not needed, a sense of respect for the property of another and a degree of personal responsibility should be guide posts at this point and time in their lives. I never even thought about doing something this stupid, not to mention criminal, as a senior.

  • Paula

    If George Zimmerman got off with murder then it only fair that these kids get a chance to prove themselves

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