A group of seniors criminally charged and suspended for their involvement in an end-of-the-year food fight at Wilson Central High School were also banned from participating in graduation ceremonies Saturday.
Principal Pat Suddarth made the decision Wednesday and told the students’ parents.
“I [made the decision] with the backing of the interim director of schools, the school board and my administration,” Suddarth said. “…They will graduate if they have met all their requirements, but they will not get their diploma on Saturday.”
Suddarth said parents had mixed reactions to the news about graduation.
“Some were expecting it,” she said. “Others were surprised by it.”
Suddarth said the eight students involved in Friday’s food fight were also suspended for the final four days of school but were allowed to take final exams Tuesday.
Four adult and four juvenile students involved in the taco day incident were charged Friday with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and vandalism. They were issued citations and released to their parents.
“I think this rose above the level of what would be considered to be a normal prank,” Suddarth said.
Sheriff Robert Bryan said the school's two school resource officers received information something was going to happen Friday in the lunchroom. He said within a few minutes, the SROs were able to gain control of the situation but not before quite a bit of food was thrown.
Bryan said officers also found eggs and other food brought into the lunchroom from outside the school.
Suddarth said she tried to warn the students before the incident happened.
“I came on the intercom Friday and told the students to make good decisions today,” she said.
According to Suddarth, custodians were still assessing the damage Wednesday caused to the lunchroom during Friday’s food fight.
“It was quite a mess to clean up,” she said.
Wilson Central will hold graduation ceremonies Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Curb Event Center at Belmont University.