Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

No graduation reprieve for three seniors in prank at Hudson High

Several Hudson High graduates showed solidarity with three peers who were banned from graduation ceremonies by wearing wrist bands.

JEFFREY S. SOLOCHEK | Times

Several Hudson High graduates showed solidarity with three peers who were banned from graduation ceremonies by wearing wrist bands.

HUDSON — Orange wristbands.

You couldn't help but notice them on the arms of several Hudson High seniors Friday night as they prepared for their final act together as the Class of 2009. They were the teens' last, silent protest over the absence of three friends and classmates barred from walking over a senior prank gone awry.

The class prided itself on being "like family," and many felt wounded that three popular members — Chris Jennett, Anthony Siciliano and Melvin Velez — couldn't participate at graduation.

In the end, though, their pleas and rallies didn't win a reprieve for the boys who commandeered the school public address system on the last day of school. The boys' names appeared in the evening's program, but their names weren't read, their chairs weren't left empty.

It was, instead, a celebration for the 281 seniors who came to the school gym in their cherry red caps and gowns, surrounded by family and friends who snapped photos, blasted air horns and cheered excitedly as their names were called to receive their diplomas.

"It feels amazing," said Emilio Rivera, who strutted across the stage to hoots and hollers. "We've grown up since middle school, and we're all graduating together. It's like family."

Elizabeth Smith called the electric atmosphere "crazy."

"This is the last time the Class of 2009 will be together at Hudson High," she said. "I'm ready for the future."

Chris Sikora said the night was exciting, yet also sad.

"I know the future is going to bring great things," he said. "But I'm going to miss being with all my friends."

As they waited for the processional into the gym, the students chanted, clapped and did the wave. A few leaders passed out the orange wrist bands even as everyone was lining up to head out.

No one really mentioned the three boys who weren't there, even as they attached their names to their wrists. They were too charged up in the moment.

Then came the main event. Nobody was going to disrupt that.

The speeches went just as planned, with talk about how the future is theirs for the taking. The diplomas got distributed. The tassels got turned. Confetti blasted into the air.

Afterward, some kids headed home. Some to parties. Some to dinner.

One group set course for Anthony Siciliano's house, where he and Chris Jennett sat waiting for their graduation without them to be over so they might celebrate, too.

Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at solochek@sptimes.com or (813) 909-4614. For more education news, visit the Gradebook at blogs.tampabay.com/schools.

No graduation reprieve for three seniors in prank at Hudson High 05/30/09 [Last modified: Saturday, May 30, 2009 12:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays morning after:Matt Andriese trying to put good finish on injury-marred season

    Blogs

    RHP Matt Andriese can't make up for the 2 1/2 months he missed due to a hip injury this season after getting off to a solid 5-1, 3.54 start.

    But he can use his last few outings to remind the Rays, and himself, of how good he can be.
    He did it the hard way Thursday, allowing three runs as four of the …

  2. Trigaux: Tampa Bay household income tops $50,000 but still makes us look poor

    Personal Finance

    The good news is Tampa Bay's median household income finally crawled above $50,000 last year. The bad news is that figure — officially $51,115 by new U.S. Census Bureau data — still puts the Tampa Bay region as the poorest of the nation's 25 largest metro areas.

    Tampa Bay still has the lowest median household income among the 25 most populous metro areas, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
[Times]
  3. Oh, Florida! Irma's gone, but she left behind plenty of lessons for us

    Columns

    I don't want to make light of the misery and death that Hurricane Irma inflicted on Florida this month. A lot of it was ugly, and some of it was downright criminal. We saw greed and pettiness on …

    A Fort Myers woman who'd recently undergone a double-organ transplant painted a sign that said, "HOT SINGLE FEMALE SEEKS SEXY LINEMAN TO ELECTRIFY HER LIFE" and sure enough, she got her power turned back on. [Photo from video]
  4. Florida education news: Makeup days, accountability, charter schools and more

    Blogs

    MAKEUP DAYS: The Pasco County school district alters the daily schedule of 11 schools to make up teaching time missed because of Hurricane Irma, avoiding the …

    With students back in school after Hurricane Irma, schools across Florida begin scheduling makeup days for missed classroom time.
  5. How visiting a scenic Cuban resort can help save green sea turtles

    Wildlife

    The Florida Aquarium has been collaborating with Cuba's National Aquarium since 2015 to help save coral dying throughout Caribbean waters.

    The beaches of Cuba's Cayo Largo are home to a large population of green sea turtle nests. The Florida Aquarium will lead eco-tours of Cayo Largo next year that will help protect the turtles and fund research.  [Avalon Outdoor]