Ryle High School senior prank created ‘potentially dangerous, unsafe conditions,’ district says

Some staff members were reportedly injured in the cleanup process
The students entered the school building unlawfully and after hours earlier this week, according to Boone County Schools.
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 10:36 AM EDT|Updated: May. 26, 2023 at 3:37 PM EDT

UNION, Ky. (WXIX) - A prank at Ryle High School involving 75 students is under investigation by the Boone County Sheriff’s Office, a spokesman said Friday.

The students entered the school building unlawfully and after hours earlier this week, according to Boone County Schools.

District officials say the students’ actions “created potentially dangerous and unsafe conditions for students and staff.”

“Unfortunately, due to the extensive damage caused by the students, we have received reports of our staff being injured during the cleanup process,” a news release from Boone County Schools said.

Staff, faculty, and maintenance staff were commended for their efforts to clean up the school so it could open on time for the remainder of the school year.

Josh Starns said he was part of the clean-up efforts on Wednesday.

“I got to school and I was actually helping some of my teachers pull some of the desks off the roof because they were hung upside down from their ceilings,” Starns explained. “A bunch of bungee cords hanging them upside down.”

Video circulating on social media appears to show unraveled toilet paper hung all over the hallways, track and field hurdles blocking the paths and what appears to be a petroleum jelly product smeared on door knobs.

“My child feels that things were taken overboard a little with the senior prank,” said a parent of a Ryle High School senior. “My child did not agree with the baby oil, the Vaseline, the rice.”

The mother, who wished to remain anonymous, said she was told by a school administrator that the baby oil dumped on school steps was the biggest issue. The mom said it was on the steps that people were getting injured.

District officials say they are working on a disciplinary plan for the students as they continue to investigate, but the mother tells FOX19 NOW the school has already handed down the punishment.

“According to what I heard from admin, was that everybody that entered the building was suspended and the seniors were not walking [at graduation],” the mother explained Friday. “Come to find out, some of the students that entered and partook in it were not seniors so their repercussion was just being suspended for the last two days of school.”

The mother says her child is among the seniors who will not walk at graduation on June 3.

FOX19 NOW requested comment from Boone County Schools about whether students involved in the prank will be permitted to participate in graduation activities, but they have not responded about that issue.

Starns said, in his opinion, the students involved in the prank should not be allowed to walk at graduation.

“We cannot speak to the student’s status as it relates to school functions,” Boone County Sheriff’s Office Major Philip Ridgell said. “We did attend a meeting with the administration yesterday. The incident remains under investigation and no charges have been filed as of yet.”

FOX19 is interested in talking to students and parents involved. Please email us at desk@fox19.com.

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