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East Wake seniors charged with vandalizing 28 buses

Posted May 28, 2009
Updated May 29, 2009

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— Authorities arrested seven East Wake High School seniors Thursday and charged them with vandalizing 28 school buses with spray paint. School officials say it was a senior prank.

Antonio Bland, 18; Dafineace Ratliff, 17; Tyasia Nicole Williams, 18; Marquis Joyner, 17; Latasha May, 18; Taliva Allen, 18; and Calvin Dreston, 18, were charged with vandalism and breaking and entering.

Students charged with vandalism barred from commencement Charged students barred from commencement

The students were also accused of breaking into a school building and pouring baby oil on the floor. A school principal slipped, but was OK. However, the school administrator wasn't alone in encountering the slippery mess.

“I saw what happened. I walked down the hallway. I almost fell,” said Antwon Payton, an East Wake junior.

The buses and hallways were cleaned immediately and no one else was injured, school officials said.

Michael Evans, spokesman for Wake County Public School System, said the students will be allowed to take exams and graduate, but will not be allowed to walk with their class at the June 14 commencement ceremonies.

Other students said the prank was not a smart move.

“I'm not going to do it. I'm a senior and I got stuff to do,” said Markeith Wooten, an East Wake senior.

“I got a lot of stuff, football player, basketball player, trying to go to college. I've got to walk. I've got to see myself going across that stage,” said Antonio Payton, an East Wake junior.

Some of the parents plan to meet with school officials Friday morning about the decision to not allow the students to participate in commencement.

Two of the parents told WRAL they want to see proof that their child committed the prank.

Another parent said she was devastated when she got the call about her child being arrested. She said she has family members coming from as far away as Oklahoma for the graduation ceremony.

The students appeared before the Wake County magistrate Thursday afternoon. They were later released to the custody of their parents.


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  • Nancy May 29, 2009

    So, where was the mention on who is picking up the tab (taxpayers) for the damage to the buses? Seriously. We can't even get the school system to demand compensation from these 'oh so intelligent' graduates?

    I'm sick and tired of the hand slap approach. Real life lesson would be they have to clean it themselves or pay for that paint to be removed, whatever it takes.

    Coddle them and soft pedal approach do not a lesson teach.

  • speedy May 29, 2009

    truth: I'm wondering....

    Do they even teach grammar, sentence structure, PUNCTUATION?

    My God, if it weren't for spell check and grammar check we'd lose the ability to actually communicate our language in written form. The sorriest part being that the "students" here have know idea of what we are speaking.

  • YoucanthandletheTRUTH May 29, 2009

    By reading the post of "kindanutsboutswim", I hope the public will see what type of intelligence is passing through our school system. Who cares about education; just keep passing them along...this is a clear example of someone who doesn't have the English ability to graduate and yet they will.

  • Unaffiliated Patriot May 29, 2009

    The parents and friends/supporters of these losers just don't get it. Teachers and other state workers are losing pay this moth and next in order to help meet the financial problems of the state, and now tax payers are having to pay somebody to clean up the spray paint from 28 buses. These kids should have to reimburse the state every dime it costs to clean up after these rejects and the school administrators should hold their diplomas until they do. And about that "losing scholarships" thing....are you kidding me? I'll bet there's not a "c" student in the bunch.

  • boolittlek May 29, 2009

    fenderbender--I'm so glad that you've decided to completely disregard the advice of the adults on this board and that you are planning on pulling a senior prank. Judging from your lack of maturity (as well as your lack of basic grammatical skills), I'm not actually sure that there will be anything waiting for you (a diploma, a graduation ceremony, college, etc.) that you would be jeopardizing.

  • ifcdirector May 29, 2009

    That's ok. Al Sharpton is enroute and the NAACP and they have full scholarships awaiting their arrival at their next institution of higher learning too. It's all ok.

  • ncteacher22 May 29, 2009

    Fenderbender...honey....do you really think any of them were getting scholarships?

  • kindanutsboutswim May 29, 2009

    haha. unfortunately I will call myself the class of 2009 from East Wake High School. I did not have anything to do with the prank. First. It is not east wakes fault that these people lost their scholarships, grants, college acceptances. As a student, when i signed with my university, I had to agree not to be charged with anything more than a speeding ticket. I am sure this is something they agreed to as well. Is it unfortunate? absolutely. This was just alittle to far. Rumor on the street at school, is that it is going as far as it is because an administrator fell. My question to fender is this. First. Since you know so much.. Where you there? Did you get charged. Cause I imagine you are running off rumors just like the rest of that school. Just as I am. Dont pretend you know. I know a few of these people personally, and they are smart academically sound people, that are STILL going to be amazing people. This has just set them back. I wish all of them the best of luck!

  • ListentoMeNow May 29, 2009

    The kids do not need to be allowed to march at their graduation. I don't think criminal charges should be filed but what they did with the oil on the floor, that was uncalled for. Someone could have fallen and not only broken their neck, but everything else as well. Someone said that it wouldn't cost taxpayers anything to fix the buses because the busses were "free." Where the hell does this person think the busses come from? A black hole? LOL Anyway, don't let them march and don't charge them with anything. I think not marching will be enough punishment.

  • tarheelalum May 29, 2009

    Not sure about the criminal charges, but the not being able to walk at commencement is a fair enough punishment. It's not that big of a deal unless it's the end of your education in my opinion. I wasn't able to walk at my commencement ceremony for a far less offense(skipping too many days senior year)...but I did get to walk at UNC for my BSBA and MBA and have absolutely no regrets!!!!!!!