Food fight! A dozen Combs HS students suspended - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Food fight! A dozen Combs HS students suspended

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What started as a dumb school prank has resulted in serious consequences for some students in the east valley. They were involved in a cafeteria food fight.

And for their punishment, the high school seniors involved are being banned from their graduation ceremony.

Is that too harsh? The situation has sparked a lot of opinions on Twitter and Facebook.

Students even started a petition to let the seniors walk at graduation, and people as far away as Puerto Rico signed it.

This video shows only part of a food fight inside the cafeteria at Combs High School in San Tan Valley Friday.

"Yeah there were hot pockets I actually got a hot pocket on my shirt," says Wyatt Ford.

But the senior prank ended with 12 students suspended, including some seniors who were told they won't be able to participate in graduation activities.

"She told me I was suspended, she told me I wasn't allowed to walk at graduation and she told me I can't be in the stands. I can't even be on campus when it's going on," says Hunter Boren, senior.

"I can't walk, like that's ridiculous, it's a senior prank," says Mahmud Hossain.

Parents of some of the suspended students say the punishment goes too far.

"I just feel that's a super harsh punishment for a first time offense, he's never been in trouble before," says Lisa Boren, Hunter's mother.

"I went up to the principal's office, I asked her if there's any alternative punishment. I told her I would clean it up myself like every day after school, I would stay after. You know, I'd help pick up the cafeteria and she said there's no option out of this, she's like, no way you're being suspended for the rest of the school year," says Wyatt Ford, sophomore.

Instead of the students involved in the food fight cleaning up the cafeteria, according to the principal's statement, a group of volunteer students helped clean.

Students tell us they're life skills students which, according to the schools website, have disabilities.

"I don't think it's right. I think they should have had us clean up the mess instead of having the special ed kids clean up the mess, and just take care of it like that instead of take it to such a huge extreme," says Nigel Gardner, senior.

"None of us were thinking, we were just being crazy high school kids," says Ford.

Statement by Principal of Combs High School Brenda Mayberry

Today at Combs High School an unfortunate incident occurred during lunch.   Several students made the bad choice to instigate a food fight in the cafeteria.  Many students joined in.  With bad decisions come consequences.  The administrative team dealt with the students involved following the guidelines for consequences in the student handbook. The students received the appropriate disciplinary action.   

In order to expedite restoring the order to the campus no student groups were required to clean the cafeteria.  However Combs High School supports a group of students in their transition into the world of work.  Each day they work alongside Combs staff members assisting with their duties.  Today they volunteered to assist the custodial staff in the cleaning of the cafeteria.  Many other students volunteered to assist in the clean up because they were saddened by the behavior of their peers.  We hope lessons were learned today.  As a  principal I was disappointed in the display which indicates a lack of respect for the school and fellow students at Combs High School.  I am proud every day of students at Combs, today I was disappointed.


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