16 students get suspended for school entry

ASHLAND — Sixteen Ashland High School students were suspended after the school's annual "senior prank" apparently escaped the bounds of the law early Monday.

A group of students illegally entered the humanities building on Mountain Street in the early morning hours Monday and moved all the furniture on the third floor into the high school's central quad, according to an intercom announcement by Principal Jeff Schlecht this morning. One student also spray-painted "Class of 09" in green on the building's exterior on the second floor, students said.

"Seniors have done harmless pranks in the past, but this one really did go over the line," said Ashland schools Superintendent Juli Di Chiro.

Ashland police are investigating the incident, and Di Chiro said Tuesday that criminal charges are possible for two of the 16 students who were suspended.

She said she could not say how long the students would be out of class, but students on the campus today said the suspensions were for one day.

Schlecht could not be reached Tuesday.

In his announcement to students over the school's intercom Tuesday morning, Schlecht said he was saddened to see that the prank had involved possibly illegal activity.

"The students who did it were not trying to do harm," said sophomore Keven Schilling. "It was more for the wow factor."

Past pranks have included putting Christmas trees in the central quad, and last year, seniors hauled bales of hay and chickens into the quad.

"Bales of hay and Christmas trees are harmless; those are the best ones when everyone, even the teachers, say, 'All right, that was pretty good,'" said Ashland High senior Taylor Hartrick. "But when you think they had to break into the school for a prank, that went too far."

Senior Salina Piddington said, "I think the seniors are probably going to have do another prank this year to redeem ourselves because that was tragic."

Reach reporter Paris Achen at 776-4459 or e-mail pachen@mailtribune.com.

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