High school pranks lead to felony charges
In May, 2010, two students at Williams Field High School in Arizona decided to set off the sprinkler heads on the second floor of their school building. They used a lighter to activate the sprinkler system. The water caused damage in eight classrooms including the carpet, ceilings, electrical outlets and baseboards. Repairs came to $170,000.
After investigating the case, in July, 2010 the 16 and 17 year olds were charged with two felonies: aggravated criminal damage and interference with an educational institution. Their first juvenile court hearing is in August, 2010. If found guilty of these charges, the boys and their parents may be held responsible for all of the damage.
In another case, two senior girls were charged with felonies after calling in a bomb threat in order to cancel classes. One of the girls plead guilty to false reporting, a class two felony. The other girl pleaded not guilty. She took her case to a jury and was convicted of two felonies and a misdemeanor. At sentencing, in December, 2009, both girls were placed on two years probation, ordered to serve 250 hours of community service and pay $19,000 in restitution. If they violate their probation, they could get jail time.
Although both incidents were pranks, they backfired on the teens. Think ahead about possible consequences. What may seem like an innocent activity can bring unexpected results for you and your family.