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White Plains Students Banned from Graduation for Senior Prank

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- A senior prank has turned ugly for a few White Plains High School students who have been suspended and will not be allowed to walk during the graduation ceremony Thursday, White Plains Schools Superintendent Christopher Clouet said.

A few seniors have been identified as instigating a food fight - which one student recorded on video - in the high school's H cafeteria June 7 by throwing water balloons. Claims that the water balloons contained urine and bleach were unfounded, Clouet said.

"There is no evidence of that," he said. "We think that that is an unfounded rumor. If you were in a room where bleach is thrown, you would smell it."

Assistant Principal Leroy Dixon sent out a notice June 14 telling parents that the area was secured by school personnel and a campus lockout was initiated at 12:05 p.m., about 20 minutes after the incident occurred. That day, four students reported minor injuries to the school nurse, but all returned to school the next day.

School administrators present in the cafeteria that day saw the students who instigated and were involved in the food and water balloon fight, and issued various punishments.

"It was a senior prank that went awry," Clouet said. "What was supposed to have been a water balloon fight in the parking lot at the end of school, some people wanted to start early in the cafeteria. Some people responded by throwing food."

Some seniors who were involved, including the main instigator, have been suspended and will not walk in graduation. Additionally, they had to take their Regents exams separate from their classmates while serving the suspension.

Other students involved were assigned three three-hour shifts of clean-up duty, but will be allowed to walk during graduation. A number of underclassmen were also suspended and will serve their punishments for the remainder of this school year and the beginning of next year. Clouet said they will most likely serve it the first week of school in September.

Clouet added that a small percentage of students were involved and that most weren't aware of the incident until the next day.

"Most of the kids that I talked to the next day were disgusted by what they did," Clouet said.

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