Students charged in prank say punishment is too harsh

by: Tina Terry Updated:

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LINCOLNTON, N.C. - Students charged with trying to pull off a senior prank inside their high school talked to Channel 9, saying they didn't expect the severe punishment from their joke they have received.

Seven students were arrested Monday after they broke into Lincolnton High School and tried to release live chickens in the hallway.

PAST ARTICLE: Students arrested for releasing chickens in high school prank

They told Eyewitness News reporter Tina Terry Tuesday they never meant for the joke to go this far.
 
The teens said they were very surprised by the reaction from administrators and police.

They never thought the prank would leave them facing criminal charges.

"They went through the window, because the window was open,” Eddie Lopez said. “They put the chickens into the school. I think they put cooking oil on the floor, and they moved some desks around." 

Officers arrested Lopez, five other seniors and another juvenile. Most were accused of breaking and entering and injury to property. 

Lopez was accused of assisting with the crime.
 
"I think they shouldn't have done that to me,” Lopez said. “I know I was there, but I didn't help at all."
 
Francisco Valazquez was also arrested.
 
“I understand I'm guilty of that," Vlazquez said.
 
The teens were suspended, and the seniors barred from walking at graduation, and some of them said that punishment is too harsh.

The teens say senior pranks at Lincolnton High are expected.
 
In their yearbook, a page said students shouldn’t do anything illegal, but encourages them to coordinate the "most epic, creative prank" ever. The teens feel they're being penalized for taking part in a tradition.
 
The principal stands by the decision and said commencement is an extracurricular activity, and suspended students shouldn't take part.  

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