You may only live once, but you also only graduate high school once. And some students at a suburban high school may not be able to do that with their classmates after pulling a senior prank.
One student was arrested and two students were taken into custody after Conant High School students participated in a flash mob-style senior prank, according to the Hoffman Estates Police Sergeant Darin Felgenhauer.
Other participants were warned of being banned from prom, senior breakfast and Sunday’s graduation, school officials said.
A video posted on YouTube shows Conant students flooding a hallway cheering and chanting "YOLO," an acronym for "You Only Live Once," while sprinkling glitter on their classmates and spraying Silly String in the air.
Approximately 10 officers were sent to the school Thursday to assist in dispersing the crowd. A group of students refused to scatter, including senior Omar Moreno, who was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Two others taken in custody were released to their parents.
Parents complained that teachers rough-upped the children and overreacted, even claiming one teacher swore at students, according to WBBM radio.
District 211 Director of Community Relations Tom Petersen said the district has not heard of these complaints but they are investigating through student perspectives how staff handled the situation.
"The incident itself started out as something we were tolerant of: kids being kids. Only when it turned into a dangerous situation was action taken," said Petersen.
"It was really dumb," said student Angelo Datoli. "It was just a senior prank. It wasn't meant to be anything escalated into anything like this."
His mother, Patricia Laudando, feels the same way.
"They're good kids. I just think they got the wrong punishment for the crime," she said.
Before the prank took place, faculty reportedly warned students of the consequences for taking part, including being barred from prom, senior breakfast and taking part at graduation. Following those announcements, Petersen said several students turned in their Silly String and decided not to participate.
"Our parents put a great deal of trust in us making sure their kids are safe and that’s what we were trying to do," said Petersen.
Another parent, however, believes school administrators' reaction went too far.
"They work hard for four years. And you're gonna discipline him for one silly incident?" said Datoli's aunt, holding back tears.
The incident is still being investigated by school officials.