Purdy vandalism described as 'senior prank'

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Officials: School district handling matter internally

On Sunday, several students allegedly broke into Purdy School and vandalized some of the school's property.

In what Purdy Police Chief Jackie Lowe classified as a "senior prank," 11 students, some of whom graduated on Friday, are now having to pay restitution, pay for clean-up and repairs of the damaged property, including a bench in the dugout at the baseball field.

Lowe said one of the students managed to obtain a key to the school, allowing entry into the facility.

"The school has chosen to handle the matter internally at this time," Lowe said. "If the students complete their community service and make restitution within two weeks, there will be no formal charges filed. If not, they could face felony charges."

According to Missouri revised statute 569.100, an individual may face a felony charge if they knowingly damage property of another and damage is valued at more than $750.

Second degree burglary charges could potentially be filed based on Missouri statute 569.160 in which "A person commits the crime of burglary in the second degree when he knowingly enters unlawfully or knowingly remains unlawfully in a building or inhabitable structure for the purpose of committing a crime therein." This also carries with it a class C felony charge.

Lowe said at least two of the suspects have parents who sit on the school board.

"If felony charges are filed, they will lose scholarships, be kicked off sports teams, be ineligible to enter the military or obtain some jobs," Lowe said.

Purdy superintendent Steven Chancellor said that the district handles all student-related matters internally, including disciplinary procedures.

"We have not filed a police report nor is there a current police investigation and the Purdy School District has no intentions of filing any charges," Chancellor said.

It is the policy of the Cassville Democrat not to release the names of minors in regards to criminal accusations. Chancellor said the Purdy School District does not disclose the identity of students regarding disciplinary matters.

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