For some high school students, administrators like principals and superintendents
serve only as figures of authority bent on preventing students from expressing
themselves. Many New Jersey students have had their teachers send them
to the principal's office when they purportedly become distractions
in class. While such administrators are tasked with providing safe and
educational schools for kids to attend, they often do become the faces
of punishment when students allegedly engage in impermissible actions.
The recent arrest of 63 New Jersey high school students for a prank has
made national headlines and has caused some school administrators to evaluate
how to address this traditional senior year event. While it is not unheard
of for students to be suspended for over-the-top pranks, the arrest of
more than five dozen young people is somewhat unprecedented. The superintendent
of the district where the arrests occurred has taken an interesting position
regarding the events that occurred at one of her district's high schools.
Superintendent Barbara Pinsak has claimed that the publicity surrounding
the event was magnified and that students did not do all of the destructive
things the police alleged them to have done. Particularly she stated that
no urine was found by janitors during their clean-up. Allegations surrounding
the event stated that students relieved themselves in the building.
While janitors did have to remove graffiti and sweep, Pinsak's comments
show that a person cannot always get a completely true story from law
enforcement officials' claims or news stories. The criminal charges
brought against these 63 young people will likely have serious long-term
consequences on their futures. They may be required to work with
criminal defense specialists in order to get past the outstanding charges.
Students and administrators are not always on the same side of matters
but in this case a superintendent stepped up to provide necessary information
in support of her students' legal plights. The futures of these young
people may be forever impacted by their alleged involvement in this matter.
As their trials begin, one can hope that the full truth of what happened
in the school comes out and that misrepresentations are proven to be erroneous.
Source: SFGate.com, "Schools boss says class prank overblown," May 3, 2014