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Four Hernando High students must pay to have their graffiti removed

BROOKSVILLE — Four students who sprayed the Hernando High School campus with graffiti last month will pay restitution, and three of them could wind up in an alternative school next year.

Hernando High principal Ken Pritz has recommended that the three underclassmen who made their way onto the Bell Avenue campus over the Memorial Day holiday be placed in the Star Education Center next year.

The fourth student was a senior. That student was not permitted to take part in Hernando's graduation ceremony on Monday, Pritz said.

All four students will have to split the roughly $5,000 cost to remove the graffiti, much of it laced with profanity, from 15 campus buildings, he said.

The district will not file criminal charges, Pritz said.

The Star Center in Brooksville is an option for students in lieu of expulsion. The school is primarily designed to provide behavioral and academic instruction for students who are chronically disruptive in the traditional school environment.

A district committee reviews a recommendation to place students in the center. Parents or guardians can appeal the committee's decision. If the committee still agrees with the principal after hearing the parents' case, the student goes to Star.

Pritz said all three underclassmen have a history of discipline problems. He said he considered expelling them but thought keeping the students in the school system was a better option because the district can collect restitution.

"Either way, they're off my campus," he said.

A separate group of 14 students — all seniors — came onto the campus that weekend and stacked tables and chairs and spread grease on windows and door handles.

Pritz had recommended that those students be barred from graduation, but superintendent Wayne Alexander reversed that decision when families appealed.

Instead, the students had to complete 40 hours of community service on the campus before they could receive their diplomas.

Tony Marrero can be reached at tmarrero@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1431.

Four Hernando High students must pay to have their graffiti removed 06/05/09 [Last modified: Friday, June 5, 2009 6:46pm]
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