East Lansing High School Cleans Up After Senior Graffiti Prank

By: Brian Johnson Email
By: Brian Johnson Email

The last day of school, wasn't quite the celebration kids anticipated. When East Lansing High School students arrived on campus Friday, they found "2014 SENIORS" spray painted all over.

The building was also egged.

Witnesses say the principal was in shock.

"I could just tell he was super flustered," said Jillian Gillespie, who will be a senior next year. "He was like 'Oh my God,' and he was talking to other teachers and I could just see it/tell in his tone."

The vandals used black and white paint. They coated the front, back, and sides of the school as well as the sidewalks, leaving at least one expletive. They even hit up the senior wall, where seniors traditionally put their hand prints to commemorate their graduating class. They crossed out previous years. For example, where it said 09 the vandals spray painted 14.

"It was well thought out, they spent some significant time up, in and around the building last night. I think they pretty much covered all four sides of the building. At one time or another," said Lieutenant Scott Wriggelsworth of the East Lansing Police Department.

Friday crews worked to restore the building.

Graduated seniors said they are embarrassed.

"I'm shocked! This is something that East Lansing--we do not do. We do not do this," said Elie Kirkland, who graduated last Saturday. "I just apologize on behalf of the class of 2014, to the school and to everybody else, because this is something that is not us. This is not us. We are better than this."

"We have an excellent student body," said Cliff Seybert, the Superintendent of East Lansing Public Schools. "This is not representative of our student body. We have a beautiful building that they care about."

The superintendent would not comment about the investigation, but he said those responsible will be held accountable.

Police have identified four graduated seniors as suspects, but they think as many as ten kids may have participated.

"It just kind of puts a sour note to what's been a pretty good school year here in East Lansing," said Wriggelsworth. "The last day is going to be the one day that everybody kind of remembers and that's too bad."

As for the paint, on Friday afternoon lot of it had already been cleaned off, especially on the windows. Getting it off the porous brick and stone, is much harder. A crew from the City of East Lansing used a commercial grade, high powered pressure washer. It's unclear how much the repairs will cost.

The suspects could face malicious destruction of property charges. They are expected to be arraigned next week.


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