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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

With senior pranks, what's the right response?

Herkids052709a_69758c In today's news, we found three examples of senior pranks that got kids in trouble. Kids do these often stupid things, leaving their school leaders in the uncomfortable position of deciding how to punish the offenders just days before they'll never see them again.

Maybe telling the students they can't walk at graduation is the easiest answer, one that will make them think twice before they pull such a stunt again. Or is it?

Consider these cases.

At Hudson High in Pasco County, three popular seniors commandeered the school public address system on the last day of school. They told all seniors to report to the senior stage. That's it. They're now barred from commencement and all other school activities -- even including dropping a sibling off at school. Their friends are planning protests.

Up in the Panhandle, meanwhile, a Fort Walton Beach High senior faces "consequences" for sneaking the F-word into her high school yearbook. But her principal is letting the girl walk at graduation, saying her reputation had been tarnished. "This is a real betrayal," principal Charlene Couvillon told the Northwest Florida Daily News.

Still no word on what Hernando High will do to the 18 or so seniors who decided to vandalize their school with profanity-laced graffiti as a prank. But superintendent Wayne Alexander has asked law enforcement not to press charges, saying the school district will handle the situation internally.

What's the right answer? Is there one? Should it matter the scope and intent of the prank? Or is a violation of the code of conduct a violation of the code of conduct?

We can't tell that there's any rhyme or reason, given these three instances. Perhaps you have some thoughts.

(Photo courtesy of Brooksville Police Department)

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:24am]


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