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La Crescent-Hokah Middle & High School (copy)

La Crescent-Hokah Middle and High School

La Crescent police and school district officials are investigating a group of students whose end-of-the-year prank left La Crescent-Hokah High School in disarray.

Police Chief Doug Stavenau said the group unlawfully entered the school on May 29, filling the hallways with desks and chairs, drawing phallic images on the whiteboards, and pulling up offensive material on the school computers. In a statement to local media, Superintendent Kevin Cardille said the scene also included “racist graffiti.”

As punishment, the students will be barred from attending Sunday’s graduation ceremony, according to an email from school and district administrators.

The stunt appears to have been well-orchestrated, Stavenau said, because the students were able to enter the building without forcing their way in. A second group of students waited in their cars, serving as lookout.

Stavenau said the police department and school district have a “good idea” of everyone involved after watching surveillance footage.

While no charges have been filed, the matter remains under investigation,” he said.

“One thing that all of us need to be aware of is there’s a point that can be too far,” Stavenau said. “I don’t want to draw judgments on this case, but there are things that you can do that would be done in good humor, that won’t interfere with the school day. The one-upsmanship, I think, is where things can get carried away.”

This is not the first time La Crescent seniors have found themselves in hot water after an end-of-the-year prank.

In 2004, four students were barred from their graduation ceremony after coating their classmates’ and teachers’ vehicles in motor oil, causing thousands of dollars in damage. At least two of the students were charged with felonies.

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Kyle Farris can be reached at (608) 791-8234 or kfarris@lacrossetribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Kyle_A_Farris.

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