New Orleans’ Students Suspended, Barred From Walking at Graduation Following ‘Senior Prank’
Khayla Alexis Gaston
April 12, 2019

Many high school students look forward to the festivities of their senior year. Events such as prom, graduation, socials, and senior pranks are anticipated and cherished. Recently, students at Sophie B. Wright High School in New Orleans participated in a senior prank that has resulted in them being barred from engaging in fourth-year traditions. The prank apparently consisted of water-guns, eggs, vinegar, mustard, and water balloons being tossed at students and unfortunately faculty members.

Before engaging in the prank, the students were apparently warned several times of the consequences that would follow, including a final warning 30 minutes before the spectacle. As a result of the prank, three people were reportedly injured. The repercussions that followed varied, including students being suspended, or even expelled, and informed that they can no longer look forward to participating in prom and graduation. Shockingly, the charter board president shared with the public that the students may even face criminal and civil actions for the disruption. In this case, I feel that the authorities are being unnecessarily harsh.

For a moment, the board of Sophie B. Wright High School must remember the age of these students. They were just attempting to come together and make memories to conclude and celebrate their senior year. Many students see this as their opportunity to leave their mark at their soon to be alma mater. Instead of punishing them, officials should collaborate with students to ensure that events can take place that bring joy to the student body and allow them to reflect on their high school experience. Expulsions and suspensions will not only serve to reprimand them but will scar these young people and leave them with nothing but negative recollections of senior year.

In life, graduation is a major achievement that requires hard work and dedication. Not only are the students graduating, but their families in the crowd anticipating their name being called are as well. To remove their right to walk across the stage is far too harsh of a punishment. The students should be forced to do community service or something else that provides a lesson while benefiting them. Moving forward, the graduating class of 2019 at Sophie B. Wright High School deserves a chance to apologize and hopefully be endowed their right to participate in senior year activities.

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