In the weekly feature called "e-views," we invite readers to answer a question via email.
Last week's question:
Do you think the high school seniors who did a series of pranks at Heritage High last week -- including running around campus with washable paint on their feet, putting up bumper stickers with obscenities and chaining a lamb to a pole -- should be disciplined by not being allowed to take their final exams or to graduate with their class?
AS TO SOME of their campus pranks, the only one that I didn't like was the chaining of a lamb to a pole. Animal cruelty is not funny by any stretch of the imagination and definitely deserves some punishment, in my opinion as an animal lover. Let them take their final exams, but they definitely need to be further disciplined in some way.
ABSOLUTELY! THOSE STUDENTS involved should be disciplined for their obvious wrongdoings. As they become adults, they must realize that there will be consequences that they'll have to bear if they mess up. As part of their punishment, they shouldn't be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremonies.
However, they should be allowed to take their final exams, otherwise how would one know if they even passed to graduate. It's about time that school authorities take a direct "tough love" approach with students who do these kinds of things and
Ralph A. Hernandez
ABSOLUTELY NOT! Such pranks deserve a more appropriate reward -- the opportunity to do public service for an appropriate length of time (20 hours?) so the folks involved can get a little closer to the real world and real life.
NO! I THINK what they did was a prank that got completely out of hand, but not allowing them to take their final exams and graduate is pretty harsh punishment, and frankly serves no one!
Some of these kids might never get around to retaking those classes and getting their diploma, and this could also prevent college-bound students from being accepted. How is potentially even more undereducated children a good thing?
They should let the punishment fit the crime -- have them do community service over the summer, and have them miss the fun things like grad night -- but they should be allowed to take their finals and graduate!
IT'S TERRIBLE THAT animal cruelty involving the lamb took place. That should not be tolerated. Some students had a school prank in mind and others took it to the extreme.
The year my son-in-law graduated from Liberty one of the oldest trees in Brentwood was cut down inside the high school quad. That was senseless.
The students at Heritage were senseless on a lesser scale, except for the lamb. This can be seen as a community problem, and not just a school problem. Parents, teachers and the community at large, needs to instill common sense back into reality? The principal knows the situation better than most. He will likely make the best decision possible for the students involved. Being put into this situation at the school year's end must be weighing on him immensely. Hopefully, there will be a solution that brings all involved to a better place of understanding the difference between pranks, cruelty of animals and outright damaging of school property. Then consequences fitting the damage must come into play in this situation.
I FULLY SUPPORT the school's decision. I don't know which is worse, the actions of the pranksters or the actions of their parents.
This is a classic example of poor parenting skills. Rather than whining about the punishment and looking for ways to get their kids out of it, the parents should be using this as a learning tool as it applies to the students taking responsibility for their own actions. Life lesson learned!
I HAVE TWO nephews attending Heritage High School. Here is my take -- since when is cleaning up your own mess a punishment? That should go without any question in any adults mind, and a punishment would be beyond that! They should do community service, preferably where so called prank, took place. They were counseled on bad behavior beforehand and I think this must have been for a reason of prior problems.
The school already has backed down on from five days suspension and we all know what happens to warnings not made good! I used the term, so-called prank, with tongue in cheek -- it was beyond that, and we all know it.
To say they were just being kids is bologna. I commend the school for its out look as we taxpayers are tired of paying over and over again, for bad behavior in our comminutes. The ones responsible could hold a carwash and donate all the money toward the cost of cleaning up.
MAYBE THE REPERCUSSIONS resulting from those ill-advised student pranks will be the most important lesson learned from their 12 years of school. I believe our schools should more strongly emphasize to students the importance of being accountable for their actions in life and using good judgments.
APPLAUSE TO LOCAL Brentwood school officials who dropped a suspension and no- graduation walk hammer on 51 students for a series of pranks that transcended the usual teepeeing of trees with toilet paper. There is far too much "anything goes" in our society and obscenities and animal cruelty are no joking matter. Someday those students will be thankful that the school taught life lessons and extolled the beautiful juxtaposition of two words, "tough love." Ah, how well that adjective and noun go together.
I COMPLETELY SUPPORT and agree with the decisions of Principal Oshodi, Superintendent Volta, and Judge Flinn to ban the seniors who painted, posted profanities, and painted and tied an innocent lamb to a post at Heritage High all in the name of senior pranks and fun.
These are all disrespectful acts of vandalism and cruelty -- nothing about the pranks are fun. They showed blatant disrespect toward their school, teachers, staff, peers, and the community of Brentwood, that takes pride in Heritage. Students were warned both verbally and in writing that pranks were prohibited and then signed that they understood this policy.
These students and their parents apparently feel that rules and parameters don't apply to them and they are entitled to simply do as they please without consequences. I wonder how these families would feel if their homes and cars had been vandalized and their family pet painted and tied up by neighbors just "having some fun and playing a prank?"
I've heard that some of those involved have bragged about what they did on social network sites and have threatened others who have come forward naming those involved. Shame on the kids, but more importantly, shame on the parents for not holding their children accountable for their actions. They should be grateful criminal charges have not been filed against them. School administrators, not their parents, are teaching them all an important life lesson about responsibility and accountability. When you choose the behavior, you choose the consequences!
I ABSOLUTELY BELIEVE that the students deserved discipline. Whether senior pranks are a tradition (and frankly I think they are more than ridiculous and not necessary), these students should not have been ignorant of the fact that consequences would be applied for their misdeeds. Destruction of property cannot be tolerated -- the fact that the paint was supposedly washable, is not the point.
Not being allowed to participate in graduation ceremonies was the right call. Those parents who made excuses for their students ("they're just kids having fun") did their children no favors. Breaking rules should result in punishment.
WHAT THE STUDENTS did was cruel to the animal and the obscenities were disrespectful. Yes, they were punished accordingly, and the punishment should be upheld. Why even question this when "authority" has spoken and kids need to learn to respect authority and rules. What they did was disgusting.
My son is graduating this year from Heritage High, and had he been a part of this prank, I would have applauded his being punished in this manner. As I said, I found it to be disgusting and shameful of the students degrading their fellow students, city of Brentwood, and Heritage High School, in such a disgraceful way. What if the animal had been killed by a coyote?
THOSE STUDENTS KNEW the rules and chose to break them. They were warned of the consequences of their actions.
To me, what is more distressing, is the fact that their parents are not teaching them to be responsible for their actions by supporting them and whining about the fact they were not able to walk in commencement or take their final exams. It is the job of parents to mold their youngsters to be upright citizens.
I saw on TV a sign that one of the parents held that accused the administrators of the school of being bullies. Reality check parent and student -- you vandalize the school, you pay for it one way or the other, senior prank or not.
Finally, it was right not to let the students walk with their class. Had the administration let the students walk, there would be no point in being disciplined. Not walking at commencement is the equivalent of being placed in the gallows in the public square -- let it be a warning for all in the future.
This week's question:
What do you think about outside investors buying up homes in your city and renting them out? Do you view it as a good thing or bad thing and why?
Email your response to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please limit responses to a few sentences, and be sure to include your full name and city of residence. Not all responses will be published. Note: Please respond before Monday.