Parents upset after seniors unable to walk at graduation following food fight

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Video from a senior prank at Turner High School shows a food fight that escalated Friday in the cafeteria that resulted in the suspension of five seniors from walking at graduation.

One of the students at the school, Jesse Hood, shared his cell phone video with 41 Action News. It shows debris flying through the air as students scramble around the room yelling and screaming.

"I’m upset and sad," Kenneth Clark said, who admitted he was involved and said what he did was wrong.  "I threw a tray across the lunch room and I guess they didn't like that too much. Of course I should get in trouble for it."
Clark tells us there were about 100 other teens involved too, but only five seniors are being punished. He and his mother said he was suspended for two days; they agree with that decision.

"I totally back the suspension, but I don't back this not walking across the stage thing," his mother Heather Clark said.

The family’s concern is graduation day on May 15, 2014. The five seniors have been told they will not be walking and that’s where some think the school is taking the punishment a step too far.

"For these families that have waited this long, it is about getting them memories, capturing those memories walking across that stage and receiving that diploma," Heather said.

Resi Custer's son Justin Kos was suspended and has also been told he can't walk.

"The food fight had already started and he threw a banana," Custer said.

She doesn't mind the suspension either, but she is desperate to see her son on stage.

"I agree with that totally, but they are missing out on getting their yearbooks, getting them signed, their senior party after graduation," Custer said.

The school spokesperson responded in a statement saying:

“There was a food fight at Turner High School last week deemed to be a “senior prank”. Turner High School administration identified the students responsible for planning and carrying-out the event. Consequences were issued in accordance with district policy. Senior students are regularly reminded that participation in activities which cause disruption to the environment will jeopardize participation in the Turner High School graduation ceremony. This event caused not only disruption to the school environment, but posed significant safety concerns for other students. We regret the impact that these students’ choices may have on family members hoping to witness the graduation ceremony.” - Dr. Jason Dando, Assistant Superintendent of Business and Public Relations.

After speaking with the superintendent and principal Monday, both parents we interviewed are not satisfied. They both asked to review the school’s video of the situation and were told it was against school policy for it to be released. 41 Action News was told the same response.

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