Student vandals allowed to graduate with classmates - - Jackson, MS

Student vandals allowed to graduate with classmates

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MCCOMB, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Robert Montgomery trains horses, and tries to train his children up right too.

His daughter, a senior at McComb High School, won't graduate with her classmates because of a state test score.

Montgomery is fine with that, but he can't believe a group of seniors who vandalized the school the night of May 5 will get to walk across the stage.

"You shouldn't march if you done that," Montgomery said. "It wouldn't matter if it was my kid."

Cody Timmons, a senior at North Pike High School, knows what the vandals did.

"They used cooking oil, eggs, mayonnaise, all over the floor," Timmons said. "They broke desks."

"They went into the cafeteria, destroyed a couple of fire extinguishers and a camera mounted on a wall," said McComb Schools Superintendent Therese Palmertree.

Palmertree has been getting some heat for allowing them to participate in the ceremony.

She says the vandalism involved 22 students.

13 of them were eligible to graduate.

All students involved were suspended for 9 days.

Palmertree says she originally stated the seniors would not participate in the graduation ceremony, but retracted that after the facts were hashed out during a hearing on Friday, May 20, in which students gave testimony.

"Emotionally, you would think maybe they don't deserve to walk across the stage, but we are really following policy and procedure," Palmertree said.

The students involved have to pay $225 each in restitution.

In addition, they all have to work off three 8-hour days of community service.

Some of them were washing buses at the bus barn on Wednesday.

Palmertree says the students are expected to do what they've been told to do.

"If that doesn't happen, we will be filing charges," Palmertree said. "There will be charges on some of the students anyway."

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