21 students suspended after high school prank

More than 20 Assumption High School seniors have been suspended following a prank that damaged the property of a school administrator.

On Sunday night, a group of students shot paint balls at the home of Vice Principal Debby Landry. They also sprayed paint on her driveway and the road alongside her house and poured salt in her yard in a "vulgar shape," said Assumption School Superintendent Earl Martinez.

According to reports on social media, the salt was left in the shape of a penis.

Twenty-one students were caught on video, Martinez said.

Most students received a three-day suspension, he said. Three students received five-day suspensions because they were "more involved" in the prank. The same students also received citations for trespassing from the Assumption Parish Sheriff's Office.

On Thursday, 14 of the students and their parents attended an Assumption Parish School Board meeting asking to appeal the suspensions.

Parents argued the school doesn't have jurisdiction because the home isn't on school property and their sons and daughters were only bystanders and not directly involved.

"Some of them felt the punishment didn't meet the crime," board member Larry Howell said.

Howell said he supported the school's decision to suspend the students because that's the only punishment it can give.

The School Board doesn't have the authority to overturn suspensions, Howell said. Only the superintendent who supported the principal's decision can do that.

While Landry's home isn't an extension of the school, any act done against her or her property can be punished by the school, Howell said.

"Because there was actual damage to the administrator's yard and lawn, they had to act. When you're in a group and associated in a group you also become responsible for what the group does," Howell said.

Adding to the parents' and students' outrage was the timing of the suspension. Many of the students suspended were football players or on homecoming court and could no longer participate in homecoming events or play in Friday's football game.

Other students had been removed from honor society and cheerleading squad because of the suspensions.

"I do sympathize with those students. They're losing a lot. But we as adults have to insure that our children have consequences so they can learn from them," Howell said.

In a separate prank, Martinez said the school's new track was damaged. "Seniors 2015" was painted on a 4- to 5-foot area of the track.

"(Parents) keep saying this was a tradition of rolling. It may be a tradition of students, but it's not one the administration supports. I'm scared someone is going to get hurt or someone is going to get killed when they prank the wrong house. You're fooling with different people. If I had kids that age, I would be very concerned with their safety," Martinez said.


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