MERIDIAN -- 25 Mountain View High School students face misdemeanor charges for a senior prank they pulled late Sunday night.
One senior said Monday, she and her fellow classmates are being treated unfairly by the district.
“Everyone participates in senior pranks,” said Arica Nitz. “It’s not meant to cause any damage or harm.”
A group of seniors formed a Facebook page sometime ago to decide on this year’s senior prank.
“The plan was to sticky note the hallways, the doors, the windows, the lockers just sticky note everywhere. Just colorful hallways down every hallway,” said Nitz.
The seniors also brought along some zip ties and bound the handles of the lockers.
However, Sunday around midnight, Meridian Police officers were tipped off to the prank and arrived at Mountain View High School to take control of the situation.
“It was just kind of scary,” said Nitz. “We didn't expect it to be so blown out of proportion.”
Deputy Chief Tracy Basterrechea with the Meridian Police Department said when officers arrived on scene some students fled on foot, others hid inside the school while others were detained inside.
“What started off as your typical senior prank then got a little bit out of hand,” said Basterrechea.
25 students were handed misdemeanor citations for malicious injury to property and unlawful entry of a building.
Officers also found vegetable oil doused over an upstairs hallway.
“When you start damaging people's property you have gone way beyond the limits,” said Basterrechea.
Nitz told KTVB Monday, that was not in the original senior prank plan.
“It got blown out of proportion because we only did the sticky notes and zip ties, the oil that got spilled down the hallways was done by one kid,” she said.
Nitz’s mother Carolyn feels the intention of the students is innocent.
“Being cited for malicious injury to property, I think it’s a little excessive on the school's part,” she said.
However the Meridian School District feels the damage done to the school can’t go unpunished.
Initially the students helped clean up the mess, but district custodians were needed to help clean up the rest. Also, the students were let access to the building from the key of a faculty member.
“There was a statement made that they got it from a staff member now we have to investigate that,” said Eric Exline, a spokesperson for the Meridian School District.
This time of year, all around the Treasure Valley, senior pranks are expected. Seniors at Eagle High School recently covered their hallways with 24,000 cups of water. They filmed it and placed it on YouTube.
Joel Matheson and Joe Adams said it is a tradition of all seniors.
“We were talking about it the whole year, really,” said Matheson.
While they won't reveal how they got inside, Matheson and Adams said they realize a prank can't go too far.
“There is a fine line that you have to make sure you don’t cross. No vandalism,” said Adams.
But Mountain View seniors didn't mean to go too far, either.
“We didn't want any vandalism happening because we didn't want any chances of anything bad happening,” Nitz said.
While they face charges, Nitz said other Meridian district seniors who have also done pranks this year, have not been charged. “It’s just a bummer for everyone, it’s just shocking to us because we had worse senior pranks throughout the Treasure Valley in different high schools that have happened and no charges have been done to them.”
“It's a case by case basis but my advice to kids is don't do anything that is breaking the law,” said Exline.
Meridian School District has not decided if the seniors involved, will be banned from attending other senior activities.
The students could face a maximun punishment of a $1000 fine and possible jail time