An act of vandalism at a Columbus area high school — allegedly a senior class prank gone wild — has authorities investigating.
Lee County Schools superintendent Mac McCoy confirmed the incident happened at Smiths Station High School. He told the Ledger-Enquirer in an email Friday, “Yes, we had some vandalism. Yes, we are investigating. Yes, if we can identify individuals, those individuals will be disciplined appropriately.”
Smiths Station principal Joaquin Richards wasn’t reached for comment.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office also is investigating, Sheriff Jay Jones told the Ledger-Enquirer in a phone interview.
A student posted on her Facebook page Friday, “This is my school today. Trash everywhere, broken rib, profanity on the walls, ... a blow up sex doll taped to a pole and a gutted falcon. Welcome to some of Co18’s senior prank idea. There was fishing wire which made a janitor break their rib.”
Photos and videos on other Facebook pages show toilet paper, paint, a powdery white substance and plastic wrap around the school. Profanity was also on the sidewalks and walls.
McCoy wouldn’t confirm or deny those details. Jones said an administrator did say a janitor slipped and fell while cleaning up the mess, but he couldn’t confirm the alleged broken rib and “there is no indication” that any animal was killed at the school.
Jones said “supposedly a blow-up doll” was displayed “but, from what I understand, it was clothed.”
Most of the vandalism has been cleaned up, Jones said, but the spray-painted profanity, especially on the school buses “is more of an issue,” he said. A vending machine was turned over, he said. No cost estimate was available.
The vandalism happened between the close of school Thursday and the opening of school Friday, most likely before sunrise Friday morning, Jones said. It’s unclear how the vandals entered the school, he said.
Investigators are interviewing multiple suspects, Jones said. “It’s been labeled as a senior prank,” he said.
“It’s disappointing,” Jones said. “Senior pranks have been going on for decades, but there is a point you cross the line. When you start damaging property or persons are injured as a result, then that’s crossing the line. It’s unfortunate people would engage in this type of thing.”
Jones said anyone with information about this incident should call the sheriff’s office at 334-737-7150.