Evergreen High School’s senior farewell assembly has been rescheduled for Thursday after being canceled Monday when vandals damaged the main entrance to the school.
According to an e-mail sent by principal Matt Walsh to parents on Tuesday morning, school officials have identified 25 of the approximately 70 students who participated in the senior prank early Monday morning. Their names have been turned over to law enforcement. The senior class has 245 students.
According to the e-mail, the vandalism included permanent paint splattered all over the front of the school; petroleum jelly lathered on doors, windows and handrails; cups of urine and water outside the front doors; manure in the parking lot; and profane drawings and words on the sidewalk.
“It’s unfortunate that the acts of a few will define … the students’ last few days here,” Walsh said Monday morning. Monday was the seniors’ last day at the school, and graduation is at 2 p.m. Friday at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
“For five hours, high school staff cleaned the front of our building with the help of approximately 25 seniors, many of whom did not participate in the vandalism,” he said in the e-mail.
“If these actions were committed against any family’s home in our community, these acts would be unanimously condemned,” the e-mail stated. “Therefore, I will not condone or accept these acts because they were committed upon our school or because they were committed by a group of graduating seniors.”
Walsh said Monday the school has seen worse vandalism in past years as a result of senior pranks, but the disheartening part was that the administration had spoken with the entire class of 2013 and its leaders several times in recent weeks about vandalism.
“”We talked with all the kids about having pride in their school,” Walsh said. “Graduation is not a certificate to be an idiot. Graduation should be celebrated with dignity, and the overwhelming majority (of students) are dignified. Our school, our community doesn’t deserve this.”
Walsh said the seniors and their parents signed graduation contracts with the school that stated, in part, that vandalism is not allowed.
Walsh said EHS is the only school he knows of where senior class leaders discuss the proposed prank with the principal. Walsh had approved some students bringing a decorated car into the school and parking it in front of the library. The car did make an appearance in the school, and several boys wheeled it out about 8:30 a.m. Monday.
“What other school has senior classes that try to get their prank approved?” Walsh said.
The senior farewell assembly, a time-honored tradition at EHS, will be at 12:30 p.m. Thursday. Seniors give roses to special teachers and staff members before they exit the building as graduates, run to Evergreen Lake, and jump in.
Once the seniors are gone, the juniors are declared to be the new seniors, and they move to the senior section of the gymnasium, and the sophomores and freshmen follow suit.
Walsh is asking the students who participated in the vandalism not to attend the assembly. The 25 students who have been identified will not be allowed to attend.
“The actions of a few will not define the class of 2013,” Walsh said in the e-mail. “Furthermore, these actions will not go without consequence. On the whole, the class of 2013 is a stellar group of young adults, and Evergreen High School, the students, the staff and the community have much to be proud of.”