BROOKSVILLE — Nature Coast Technical High School officials were setting up the stage Wednesday for graduation at the school's football stadium when they encountered, uh, a bit of an issue.
Spanning nearly the width of the field was a prankster's rendition of the male anatomy. Big. Obscene. And without a doubt inappropriate for tonight's graduation ceremony.
News of the unmistakable rendering of a penis sped through the school and gained traction on social media.
Principal Toni-Ann Noyes quickly discovered that the act had been perpetrated by a Nature Coast senior who sprayed some type of weed killer on the field about two weeks ago.
She said she was disappointed. "I'm going to have over 2,000 people sitting in our stands, and we take great pride in our Nature Coast graduation," Noyes said. "I was very disappointed that someone would do this and not think of the other students and the families that would have to look at this."
She said the student, whose name was not released, didn't think through his actions.
"He didn't think of the ramifications," she said. "He lived in the moment."
There will be consequences.
Noyes said the student will not be allowed to walk with his graduating class.
She said students need to understand that their actions have consequences, both financial and otherwise.
"You need to be really careful because your actions could cost you a lot of money," Noyes said.
In fact, according to Mario Littman, the Hernando County School District's safety and security coordinator, the student's family will be on the hook for any damages. Had the student been caught on campus, the results could have been worse, Noyes said. He could have been arrested for trespassing.
Noyes said she didn't know how much the prank would cost the school to repair because it's not clear if there is any permanent damage.
In the short term, she said, the school has used green spray paint to try to cover up the rendering. Workers also painted "2014" on the field to help mask it.
Danny Valentine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1432. On Twitter: @HernandoTimes.