Principal grants permission for pranks, say police | News

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Principal grants permission for pranks, say police

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Pictures obtained by First Coast News show this year's senior prank at Lee High School.

Toilet paper litters the campus, from trees to portable classrooms. A group of seniors also toppled tables, kicked over trash cans around school and tipped over dumpsters.

A school district police officer took the pictures after the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office alerted him to "criminal mischief in progress."

"I think they should not do that and it should be handled by the principal," said Lee High graduate Chiquita Bailey.

But that's where this story gets interesting. According to a Duval County School District police report, the seniors say Lee High principal Denise Hall gave them permission to do the senior prank.

Quoting from the report, "the principal, Denise Hall, was contacted by School Police, who who confirmed that she was aware that a prank would be done and had granted students permission."

Principal Hall has led Lee High for several years. She is known for pranks, so much so that a Florida Times-Union profile in 2009 called her the "chief prankster."

But last year, four of her students were arrested after pulling a prank. They were charged with trespassing and petty theft after stealing signs from across town, and putting them at the school.

Hall refused to be interviewed and the school district also didn't have anyone available to talk.

In a statement, Hall said, "I was aware that students were planning a senior prank this year, but was not aware of the specifics of the prank or when and where it was to take place."

We also tried to talk to school board member Tommy Hazouri, whose district includes Lee High. He never called us back, leaving us to talk to a recent graduate about what happened.

"No vandalism to the property should be tolerated at all. It's wrong, no student should be doing that," Bailey said.

The principal asked school police not to arrest the students involved in this year's prank, so they were released at the scene.

Principal Hall said in that statement also said no one was injured and no damage was done.


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