‘Senior prank’ turned criminal at NC high school, sheriff says. Charges planned

Students face numerous criminal charges after a “senior prank” damaged their North Carolina high school, authorities said.

The prank was no joke, as computers and electrical equipment were destroyed and an “extensive cleanup” of the school continues, Union County Sheriff Eddie Cathey said Friday.

“’Senior pranks’ are not new, and we understand that oftentimes these events are intended to be harmless and fun,” Cathey said on Facebook Friday.

But this one turned criminal, resulting in costly property damage, he said.

“The time and money it has and will take to clean this school and replace the electrical and computer equipment that was destroyed is still being calculated, but is expected to be significant,” Cathey said.

Sheriff’s investigators are still identifying those suspected of being involved and expect to file charges including “numerous criminal offenses,” Cathey said.

Cathey didn’t name the school, but parents commenting under his Facebook post said it was Sun Valley High School. School officials couldn’t be reached by The Charlotte Observer on Saturday.

Students found to be involved in the vandalism also will be disciplined per the Union County Schools’ Code of Conduct, Tahira Stalberte, assistant superintendent of communications and community relations told the Observer Saturday night.

Warn your children they could jeopardize their futures committing such acts, Cathey urged parents on Facebook.

Anyone who sees anything suspicious at a school or elsewhere in the community should call 911 or the main Sheriff’s Office at 704-283-3789, Cathey said.

Most people who commented under the sheriff’s Facebook post said the perpetrators deserve time behind bars. Others said they shouldn’t be allowed to walk the graduation stage. Colleges where they’ve been accepted should be told of their convictions, a woman said.

“Disgusting,” a woman commented on Facebook about the vandalism.