Portrait disappearance part of senior prank

The portrait of Columbus High School's principal disappeared over the weekend, only to pop back up Tuesday when pranksters realized its value, school officials said.

The oil painting, valued at $4,800, went missing from its spot near the school's main entrance, Columbus police said. However, once word got out that it was missing, students returned it to the school's auditorium, said Valerie Fuller, the school district's executive director of communications. No one saw who brought the picture back.

"It was a senior prank," Fuller said. "No harm intended. Nobody intended to steal it. Nobody was charged with anything. No one was in trouble."

Students had wanted to nick the picture last year, Fuller said, though for whatever reason the prank didn't happen.

"Compliments of the senior class of 2009," she added.

Sgt. Mark Graydon was working Monday as the school security officer when he was called to the high school about the missing portrait, reports state. He spoke with Bryant, who told him a staff member noticed the painting missing early Monday.

The painting was a gift from the PTA, Graydon writes.