Sauquoit parents fear senior prank will cost students participation in graduation ceremony


SAUQUOIT, N.Y. (WKTV) - The hot topic was graduation for more than a dozen parents who attended the school board meeting at the Sauquoit Valley School District Tuesday night.

Parents of the students, who were involved in the district's "senior prank gone wrong", were asking the board if they would allow their children to walk across the stage this Saturday during graduation- despite their involvement in the prank.

"If they hear from us saying their child is in jeopardy of walking during graduation, then they will hear from us. If they don't, then their child is walking in graduation," said District Superintendent Ronald Wheelock.

Earlier this month, a senior prank on district grounds prompted an investigation by the New Hartford Police Department. Charges have been filed.

Wheelock said there was about $24 thousand in damages. There were at least 50 students were involved, with a smaller number of students actually inside the building.

Parent Russ Nichols says his son was one of the students who was inside the building and he is facing charges.

“I actually made him do the right thing. He turned himself in for doing what he did. I don't agree with what he did. I’m not sticking up for him. He needs to be punished for it,” Nichols said. “Hopefully, they’ll do the right thing and let them all walk, they'll get their punishment after.”

Parent Diana Dote of Chadwicks said her son was actually inside the building as well and has admitted his part in the prank. She said, she feels as though the district is “picking and choosing” who they punish and claims that the superintendent’s son was present during the prank.

Wheelock did admit that his son was on the premises during the prank, but declined to comment on the extent of his involvement.

Damages from the prank range from scattering hay on the lawn to things like paint ball damage and damage involving duct tape and glue.

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