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Teaneck High School prank ends in arrest of 62 high school seniors

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A senior high school prank that got out of control in the early morning hours of May 1 inside Teaneck High School in Teaneck, N.J. resulted in the arrest of 62 students, busted in the middle of the night for “urinating in hallways, greasing doorknobs with petroleum jelly and taping hot dogs to lockers.” Police were alerted to possible trouble inside the school around 2 a.m. when the burglar alarm went off.

When police arrived on the scene, according to MSN, officers could see through the windows and witnessed students in the building. When they got inside, police also discovered balloons strewn throughout the building, silly string sprayed around, and more serious vandalism like broken chairs and desks flipped over.

Local police plus law enforcement “from more than a dozen neighboring towns plus county law enforcement officers” responded to the early morning call for help and swept through the building. Officers employed the use of K-9 units as they searched each room in the school for the culprits. Police found several of the students trying to hide in classrooms.

"It is possible that a few got away, but the majority were caught," Acting Police Chief Robert Carney said.

As the high schoolers were being arrested, they told police it was all a prank – something the senior class does as a tradition near the end of every school year. Carney said that some of the students being arrested seemed scared, while others were laughing.

"If this was a senior class prank, I just don't believe that a lot of them realize the seriousness of it as far as breaking into the building," Sgt. John Garland said.

"That's a burglary and I don't think they understand that. It's a very serious offense."

NJ.COM reported that of the 62 high school seniors arrested, 24 of them were adults, 18 or older, and were charged with criminal mischief and burglary. The 38 juveniles arrested this morning were turned over to their parents.

Barbara Pinsak, the Teaneck school superintendent, said that the school district is considering imposing its own brand of discipline. "The district continues to assess the situation and is considering the consequences that we'll impose on any students implicated," she said.

Although the mess to the school was extreme as far as senior pranks go, it wasn’t catastrophic. Workers were able to straighten the school out in time for the morning bell on Thursday. For more on the story, see the video accompanying this article.

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