Local News

Halifax students barred from graduation after water balloon fight

Posted June 14

— A group of Southeast Halifax High School students said they were denied access to graduation ceremonies because of a water balloon fight at graduation practice.

Parents and students said they are disappointed and claim the school's handling of the situation and punishment was unfair.

Latoya Lawrence said her son, Re'Quandre, was dressed and ready for the graduation ceremony on Monday.

Halifax students barred from graduation after water balloon fight

"Every parent wants to see their child take that final walk to say, I made it, you know, I made it," Lawrence said.

"When I get out of the car, he said 'She's not letting me walk,'" Lawrence said.

Lawrence said Re'Quandre and roughly a dozen other students were pulled out of the procession line and told they were not allowed to walk the stage.

She said the students had taken part in a water balloon fight during graduation practice at Halifax Community College on Friday. She claims the students were not told the consequence until they arrived at the ceremony on Monday.

"We begged. We pleaded: ‘Please let them walk.’ This is the day they had been waiting for. She would not let them walk. She said she had it on tape, and it was either press charges or not let them walk.

Lawrence's son said teachers and administrators were present during the water balloon fight and never mentioned disciplinary action.

WRAL asked district leaders about the circumstances surrounding the decision not to let the students walk.

The response was directed to an online statement, which says diplomas will be granted once transcript verification has been completed for each student and that graduates will receive their diplomas around June 22.


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  • Mcdonald Scott Jun 16, 8:17 a.m.
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    From my understanding (I live in the area, graduated from the school, and have friends and family that attend the school and graduated last Monday) most, if not everyone was involved. She pulled AT LEAST 10. Out of the line as they were lining up. If she knew way back then what she was going to do, she should have done it then. The timing was way off. I graduated from the school under her leadership and I have witnessed her "pettiness." I remember a time when she would suspend people for not going through the breakfast/lunch line. I wonder if she actually has tapes of this event.

  • Ed Brown Jun 15, 4:33 p.m.
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    Again, the story doesn't provide enough detail. Water balloon fights, like dodgeball, can turn into bullying under the right (or wrong) circumstances. When just about everyone is carrying a $200 phone in his or her pocket nowadays, water is not as harmless as it used to be. It all comes down to whether there were unwilling participants . . .

  • Mcdonald Scott Jun 15, 12:36 p.m.
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    The water balloon fight actually occurred at the high school during the senior cookout on the 9th of June and the graduation was on the 12th.

  • Teddy Fowler Jun 15, 9:54 a.m.
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    Again. Actions have consequences.

  • Bobby Caudle Jun 15, 7:40 a.m.
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    who is this she person, how come no name? "she" ought to line up and get popped by them dangerous water balloons.
    I do remember back in 1980 when I graduated, they were strict and no monkey business at practice

  • Pete Knowles Jun 15, 7:13 a.m.
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    Also, at the time the water balloon fight took place, there were teachers and advisors present that didn't have a problem with it.

  • Pete Knowles Jun 15, 7:12 a.m.
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    Why in the world would there be criminal prosecution, Ed? The woman that said that overstepped her bounds. It was a fear tactic that seemed to work. 'Fight' is just a figure of speech, and I'm sure you're well aware of that. I'm sure you've been involved in a water balloon 'fight', Ed. Were you actually harmed? Did someone strike you with their fist? Were you hurt by a water balloon? Of course not. Please quit trying to make this something it's not.

  • Ed Brown Jun 15, 6:37 a.m.
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    A water balloon FIGHT. if any of the people involved were unwilling participants, then there needs to be consequences. Better to miss a ceremony than stand for criminal prosecution.

  • Pete Knowles Jun 15, 6:07 a.m.
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    It was a water balloon fight, people.....geeez

  • Woodrow Yonts Jun 14, 9:45 p.m.
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    View quoted thread

    yup, it's amazing the parents don't understand, it's really scary