Update (2:30 p.m., May 25): Lee County Schools issued a statement on the students’ suspensions this afternoon.

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, students entered a building on the Lee County High School campus and released two rats in an apparent prank, which resulted in a maintenance staff member being bitten. As a general matter, our principals are authorized under Board policy and the Code of Conduct to employ a broad range of consequences for student behavior, which may include the loss of privileges or opportunities to participate in school events. However, in compliance with state law and out of respect for the students and their families, we are unable to comment on any specific disciplinary decisions in this situation.

Original story:

Two Lee Senior High School seniors have been suspended and denied the right to walk at the school’s upcoming graduation ceremony after a “senior prank” gone wrong.

According to multiple sources, the two seniors (the school has not released their names) let loose at least two pet rats (and reportedly, some crickets) in a building through an open window after school hours. The rats caused some commotion the following day, but the real trouble came when a school custodian was bitten and injured while trying to retrieve one of the rats.

In addition to their suspension and banishment from the commencement ceremony, the students will also reportedly be responsible for any medical bills as a result of the bite.

A petition asking that the students be reinstated has been circulating on social media since the incident and has garnered more than 1,700 online signatures, nearing its 2,500 goal. The petition’s author argues the students who committed the prank have been otherwise good students who plan to attend college during their four years at LCHS and don’t deserve the punishment.

Others online argue the students got off light and are fortunate not to face charges due to the injury.

The Rant will update this story Friday when it receives a statement from Lee Senior High School or Lee County Schools. 

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