Withrow High School principal cancels prom after water balloon prank in cafeteria
Alyssa Dailey, WCPO Digital , Casey Weldon, WCPO Digital
3:05 PM, Feb 7, 2013
5:45 PM, Feb 8, 2013
CINCINNATI - The principal of a local high school has canceled prom after students participated in a prank involving water balloons.
Withrow High School Principal Sharon Johnson made the decision after warning students multiple times to refrain from pulling the school prank.
The warnings didn't seem to sink in with students as a giant water balloon fight broke out in the school cafeteria involving half of the senior class, according to school officials.
"This so-called 'prank' was a problem for many reasons," said Principal Johnson via a letter sent to the parents and guardians of the students at Withrow who were affected by the decision. "First and foremost, it created significant safety issues for our students and staff. Several students slipped and fell in the water, and one sustained a serious knee injury. Second, it created a sizable mess for our custodial staff to address. Lunch sessions for other grades were delayed while we worked to restore safe cafeteria and hallway environments following the 'prank.' Finally, and perhaps most disturbingly, the students were advised multiple times not to engage in such behavior, and chose to do so anyway."
The letter also states that Withrow's "school resource officer informed the senior class during lunch (Thursday) that any future incidents like this one will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law."
9 On Your Side reporter Scott Wegener talked to students about the decision, and some seniors seemed stoic about not having prom, telling him that they got what they deserved for pulling the prank. One student told 9 On Your Side they were warned, and now they must suffer the consequences.
"It's fair because it was our problem, and it was our decision to do the water balloon fight," said one student.
Fellow student Sade Swain, who has already purchased her dress for prom, said while they might not be happy, students shouldn't be mad about the situation.
"We can't really be mad, because we were pre-warned," she said.
Another student said that if they had to do it all over again, they would not have initiated the prank.
School officials told 9 On Your Side that at least three parents, including Kenya Stewart, are trying to raise money for an alternative prom for the students.
"We just want our children to have a prom," Stewart said. "So, it's three or four of the parents working together and we're going to try and get it done."