RIVERSIDE – A senior student tradition of covering Riverside Brookfield High School with toilet paper and shaving cream for Homecoming got out of control Tuesday evening.
According to Riverside police, about 80 to 100 students were at the high school when police arrived to investigate a noise complaint at 12:41 a.m. on Wednesday. Police said a group of teens fled when police arrived, but the majority of students were simply throwing toilet papers, which is expected each year, as an annual event called the senior prank.
But in addition to the traditional prank activities, police found the school building had been spray painted and the locks on several doors had been filled with expandable foam.
"Most kids were not involved in the criminal part of this," Police Chief Tom Weitzel said. "Typically we're told not to intervene [in the prank activities], so we don't."
The school and police are now reviewing surveillance footage to try to determine who was involved in the vandalism of the school and to what extent.
According to news reports, more damage may have been done after police left, around 1:30 a.m.
According to police, officers found images of genitalia spray painted on the school, as well as pornographic picture that had teacher's names written on the faces. An empty crib was also found to contain four live chickens inside.
Police said the chickens were dropped off at Brookfield Zoo.
RB Principal Pam Bylsma sent a letter to parents on Thursday and called incident a, "good-hearted attempt at decorating the school as part of a Homecoming tradition [that] escalated into a display of immature, vulgar, insulting, hurtful and destructive actions that rose to the level of vandalism and criminal damage to school property."
Bylsma said that student who were involved in the criminal damage will face consequence proportionate to their actions, including exclusion from social events and suspensions, in addition to any police charges.
Bylsma said the students who damaged the school represented a "small minority" and their actions would not derail this weekend's Homecoming events and activities.
Weitzel said the charge would likely be criminal damage to state supported property, but would need to be looked at on an individual basis and would take into account the student's age and level of participation.