Note: Comments of readers are their own and do not reflect the feelings of Bob Lonsberry or lonsberry.com.
75 Responses to:
SOTA VANDALS SHOULD MISS GRADUATION
# 1. 6/13/12 12:49 AM by DaWiz - San Antonio, Texas
Agree with you completely with one addition. EXPEL THEM! The school year isn't officially over til the graduation ceremony. Make them return and earn their diplomas through the GED program. Also, make them spend the entire summer doing community service projects.
Of course this would require a backbone in the school administration, which we all know has been sadly lacking in the last 25 to 30 years. The NEA and the teacher unions would cave when the first parent threatens to sue.
More chlorine for the American Education System gene pool, please!
# 2. 6/13/12 12:58 AM by jerry - geneseo
Let it go Bob, who gives a crap anymore? There are schools in Rottenchester that have a 37% graduation rate? The only school you can point to in the city with an acceptable graduation rate, and the students do this? I can't put my finger on the reason inner city schools do so bad when it comes to education. Maybe more money needs to be spent? Maybe we can send the city kids to Pittsford and give them a quality education where obviously the schools are better. I just can't seem to get a grasp on why city schools are so far behind other schools. It's all over Bob, we have had enough years of turning out students that don't give a crap that we are doomed. Too late to turn it around even if we could. Sad sad days are coming. I just wish I could figure out why.
# 3. 6/13/12 2:17 AM by Brandon - UT
Right on. The school I work for has declined to let students walk for similar stunts.....lesser ones, actually.
But Bob, maybe you were in a hurry and all, but you need to check your grammar and spelling a little better. Just sayin. ;)
# 4. 6/13/12 4:30 AM by Brian
Have them pay for the clean-up. Only after the school is back the way it was should their diplomas be mailed to them.
No way should they participate in the graduation ceremony itself.
# 5. 6/13/12 6:02 AM by Mike - Greece
Screw getting the diplomas in the mail. Make them work for a GED and clean up their mess.
# 6. 6/13/12 6:04 AM by dave - rochester
You are spot on...I encourage prospective summer employers not to hire any of these people...male or female...they have proven themselves to be unworthy of any type of recognition or responsibility.
# 7. 6/13/12 6:35 AM by Grandma Taxpayer - Greece, NY
I first heard this on your radio show yesterday and I could not believe what I was hearing. What a bunch of immature, ungrateful punks. Glad the RPD led them out in handcuffs and glad the media was there to record it! Of course there will be some parents of these kids who will act like idiots too and protest loudly that little Susie or Johnny are being punished too harshly if they are not allowed to walk across the stage for graduation.
Publish all their names in the media along with any parent names who try to justify what their little kiddie did. They need to be embarrassed and hopefully feel some shame for their actions.
No cap and gown. No walk. Clean up the school all summer with their own money. Get their diploma in the mail. Case closed.
# 8. 6/13/12 6:36 AM by Skippy
Perfect example of the spoiled booger eating culture that the media so adores. They probably took their cue from the OWS scum bags who were coddled and cajoled by our so called defenders of the public.
# 9. 6/13/12 6:48 AM by hc
AMEN! When the handcuffs are off, make them each don a pair gloves and start cleaning. SOTA is such a beautiful building. This event is both maddening and heartbreaking.
Before unceremoniously throwing their diplomas in the mail, someone should scrawl some of that artsy graffiti across them. And if any of them are moving on with their education, those institutions should find out about this incident as well. Maybe a nice photograph tucked in with that final transcript. Don't you think the colleges and universities should be warned? I do.
I'm a bit surprised that at least one of students didn't pipe up and call this crime "performance art." Perhaps they skipped that class.
# 10. 6/13/12 6:53 AM by Cal - Rochester, NY
I`d be curious about what they were thinking. And it was unusual that there were more gals involved. Maybe they did not have much hope for the future and they were making a statement...After all there are NOT many employment opportunities. Many join the army to try to find success. Then they can find themselves in the middle of a no win war. Some go to college and rack up much debt for what?! Not much employment opportunity, even with a degree. Worst of all they are taught that they came from pond scum and there is no God or hope in this evil world. What can one expect from them. Most of us older geezers were raised in a better world, with much more opportunity and a taught set of morals. Bet that most of their parents were no help. And what kind of example are our top political and business leaders giving them with all of their scandals at our expense?!
# 11. 6/13/12 6:53 AM by prick - webster
Your sentence that began "Maybe their parents".... What parents? The parents with different last names of the students---the mothers with six kids with different last names. This is just the beginning. Sadly, we'll be seeing some of these students on the news in the years to come either in handcuffs or dead.
# 12. 6/13/12 7:02 AM by DD
I agree. The Walk is the proudest moment of a student's school life. It is earned, not given. No walk for this bunch. Diplomas in the mail is too easy. Let the guilty pick them up at the county jail. An inmate can hand them out.
Also, give the janitor's a week off with pay. Make the guilty clean the entire school for a week.
# 13. 6/13/12 7:03 AM by Larry - Virginia
In the 1950's when school discipline was rigidly enforced I remember an incident: Someone had kicked in the towel dispensers in the boys' room and was eventually caught. An assembly was called and he was paraded across the stage by the principal, called a "rat" in front of the whole school, and was expelled. Forget about picking up a diploma anytime. The boy went into the Marines where I hope he got straighetened out. You can bet nothing like that ever happened again!
# 14. 6/13/12 7:28 AM by Ken - Webster,N.Y.
I only wish there was a way all the involved "children" could be put on a bus and immediately be sent for basic training in the United States Marine corps. You think the Drill Sgts. there could teach them a bit more respect and responsibility? It appears the parents and teachers have failed.
# 15. 6/13/12 7:40 AM by Matt - Rochester, NY
Give me a break! How about the RPD worry about the shootings and the stabbings going on right now that they have lost control over completely. As stupid as these students were, every school around the country has seniors doing stupid things to celebrate their exit from the school. I remember the hoodlums of East High school who back in the early 70's when the schools were still great, hanging the principals car from a tree as their senior prank. Oh those pesky senior criminals! So get over it, it's a senior prank. Sure, they can stay home from the graduation, they should pay restitution and fix the mess, but don't tag them criminals. Little dramatic on this one.
Editor's Note: let them do to your house what was done to the taxpayers' school
# 16. 6/13/12 7:58 AM by GEORGE (THE OTHER ONE) - GANANOQUE ONTARIO CANADA
And they will all get fat lawyers and the public will pay them because they have been emotionally damaged by the refusal to allow them to walk on the stage. If they haven't learned shame yet, they never will because they have been told that they are 'special'.
# 17. 6/13/12 8:00 AM by OldVietVet - Rochester, NY
Expell those students who've been arrested.After expulsion,if they choose, they could enroll in the GED program. They deserve nothing more-except what the criminal justice system deems appropriate for their behaviour.If it were up to me, I'd make them clean the grafftti-all of it- with their bare hands.I'd also charge the "parents" for any expense,or levy a fine on the "students"for such. I would then,for the future, make any sort of "prank" an offense punishable by expulsion.And follow through on it.
# 18. 6/13/12 8:06 AM by Earl
Look, high school pranks are one thing, but this goes way beyond that. This is outright vandalism.
Spraying graffiti on the walls of your school is not what a senior prank is all about.
They should be expelled, if only for their lack of creativity.
# 19. 6/13/12 8:10 AM
I am worried that if they are punished it will damage their self-esteem.
# 20. 6/13/12 8:15 AM by Matt - Rochester, NY
Your response to my post is ridiculous. No other kids anywhere in the country are pulling senior pranks I am sure. Let's be real, the graffiti will be taken care of and the people responsible will cover the cost per a judges ruling I'm sure. Love the innuendos of those on here supporting what you say Bob. Says a lot about them ("awful lot of honkies in here") Meanwhile how many people got shot last week? Funny how the RPD can't get a grip on the real problems in this city. They seem to disappear when the real action takes place.
# 21. 6/13/12 8:21 AM by FDR - Hamlin
Just following in the lead of the OWS. Maybe the city can employ these clowns to paint more intersections like at Meigs and Linden and be featured in the D&C by Erica Bryant.
# 22. 6/13/12 8:21 AM by John - Penfield, NY
Don't let them walk across the stage at graduation? Is that punishment? I wish I didn't have to go to my stinking graduation - a colossal waste of time, listening to a bunch of pompous, self-righteous administrators and politicians blather on. So, they should miss graduation, but that's not a punishment.
The real punishment will be the community service they will be required to perform, and paying the cost of cleaning up the disaster - it's likely they will have to find a way to earn money to do so. Both components of that punishment will be true character-builders.
# 23. 6/13/12 8:23 AM by Rick G. - Spencerport, NY
Maybe this is the culmination of years of entitled trophies and stars and hugs and "my kid is a genius" bumper stickers. Teflon kids.
I agree. Let them sit home.
# 24. 6/13/12 8:23 AM by Woody
Aw come on they were only expressing them selves artistically ,you know like when a religious artifact is defaced with feces or obscene graffiti is done in public places think these folks are the future of the USA ,God help us!
# 25. 6/13/12 8:25 AM by tom - penfield, NY
I can see you don't appreciate creativity. What the students did was ART! It is obvious they were protesting this corrupt culture's institutions. They used the tools available to them to expose our greed and shallowness. What they did will be remembered as a great act of courage. They will probably receive a Nobel prize (this ain't hard, even Obama got one for doing nothing) for their display of honesty. Bob, you just don't understand art. Most Hicks don't.
# 26. 6/13/12 8:26 AM by Don
Their names should be published. I'd suggest that anyone who knows should post the names in the rant and rave section of the local Craigslist page. Treat them like the criminals they are. But no surprise, really. I know several teachers who left there long ago when it became a haven for kids who didn't want to be anywhere else. "Arts". Please.
# 27. 6/13/12 8:39 AM by U.S. Taxpayer & Voter
Agree it was a stupid, thoughtless act by a bunch of immature kids. They should not be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony, mail them their diplomas. Also, how about making them do some community service, maybe scraping chewing gum off public benches or picking up trash along the expressways, etc.
Had I been a part of any school trashing back in my high school days, forget what the school discipline would have been, my parents would have immediately stepped in and meted out a punishment that I would never have forgotten.
# 28. 6/13/12 8:40 AM by Drl - ^%$chester
I agree with #14 Ken's response. Excellent suggestion!
# 29. 6/13/12 8:40 AM
The recent stats for graduation rates locally here in Monroe County tell one thing and I can assure you its not a lack of resources, nor is it bad teachers, etc. What the local educators and or Politicians don't have the balls, yes I just said balls, is because in this particular case its warranted. I think you can figure out the rest of it. A hint, it takes place long before they ever enter a classroom. They need to send a strong message to the parent and or parents. Take a look in the mirror, and if you don't want to take on the responsibility of parenthood, pick another worthy mate before you have the child. Generational suffering should not be at the expense of the child. They didn't ask for it when they were born and they deserve any and all opportunity as they move forward. My message is very stern, hurtful, but so necessary.
# 30. 6/13/12 8:42 AM by Moron
They can't walk across the stage if they are in jail where they belong.
# 31. 6/13/12 8:43 AM by Richard - Penfield
Your first respondent today cracks me up. Expel them! Then make them come back! Then execute them! Then, after they're executed, make them come back again!
Your original point, on the other hand, is justifiably angry and utterly fair. They've all earned their degrees, but through their actions of the last few days they've absolutely forfeited the right to celebrate formally with the rest of their classmates. (And if the school wishes to bill them -- or if the law decides to drop the hammer on them as well -- them's the breaks.)
Another commenter is also correct to point out that seniors around the country pull stupid stuff every year. But there is such a thing as proportion, and what these kids did is far outside the scope of an acceptable prank. Before they collect their diplomas, they clearly have at least one more lesson to learn.
# 32. 6/13/12 8:46 AM by Rob - Lewis County, NY
I agree, they should not be allowed to graduate with the rest of their class. By their actions, they have shown that they apparently have little respect for the school or their fellow students.
I cannot begin to imagine pulling a stunt like this when I was a kid. My parents made one thing very clear to me early in my life, and that was that I was going to be held accountable for my actions. I was told what was acceptable and what was unacceptable. That was it, period, end of discussion! And if I crossed that line? Punishment was sure and swift, with the admonishment that it better not happen again. A stunt like this? Absolutely ZERO chance of seeing Dad in front of the cameras defending me. The shame of it alone would have been too much.
In regards to the comments made by #10 Cal: What the....? Don't make excuses for them. They don't have any hope and were making a statement? Give me a break. They were making a statement alright. Their statement was this: "I don't care about you or anyone else, it's all about me!" How did that work out when you were a kid? It shouldn't work now either.
# 33. 6/13/12 8:51 AM by Fran
When I was in high school the seniors hid hundreds of alarm clocks throughout the school. They all went off at different times. I didn't like these people and the ones I did, I don't like now.
# 34. 6/13/12 8:57 AM by Beth - Sodus
This whole episode is very sad. In many ways, it is dragging down the reputation of the Rochester School District.
# 35. 6/13/12 9:02 AM by Shiquan - Rochester
The intent was to pull a senior prank and have fun. They should have used washable paint.
# 36. 6/13/12 9:08 AM by John - Rochester, NY
They should be expelled immediately and be forced to get a GED from some anonymous NY State entity, not this excellent school. Giving them a diploma from this school would be a travesty. They deserve nothing better. Inexcusable, stupid, vicious, criminal...... Can you tell I'm outraged??
# 37. 6/13/12 9:14 AM by Buck Stops Here
Speaking of "making their bed"....how many more scandals in the Brooks administration can the voters tolerate?
# 38. 6/13/12 9:15 AM by Rob - Lewis County, NY
In regards to #15 and #20 Matt:
Sir, you are absolutely correct. The Rochester Police Department does have better things to do.
Unfortunately, some dumbass kids fouled that all up by vandalizing their school, and , uh, the school wanted something done about it.
Or would you have been happier if the RPD had said "Sorry, can't help you today, way too busy."
Think carefully, you can't have it both ways.
# 39. 6/13/12 9:23 AM by Horace - Belmont, NY
In my day if you did something you had to suffer the consequenses and that meant the wrath of Mom and Dad too. At sixteen to eighteen I don't know about you but my friends and I were so close to adulthood all that nonsense had already been over. Most of us were working or had so many chores we didn't have time for being stupid. Their parents should make them get a job.
# 40. 6/13/12 9:30 AM by Tyrone - ROC
Bob, True Dat!
# 41. 6/13/12 9:38 AM by Buzz
Back in 1977 we filled a ton of wiffle golf balls full of catfish stink bait and spread them around the school. The school wreaked. My favorite bio teacher knew what it was and figured out pretty quickly who were the culprits and we did get in some trouble but we were allowed to walk the stage.
# 42. 6/13/12 9:50 AM by Beth
A little tough on those pulling a traditional senior prank, don't you think?
Editor's Note: maybe criminal conduct is part of your tradition
# 43. 6/13/12 9:51 AM by hc - ( I should have seen the news video before commenting)
# 35. 6/13/12 9:02 AM by Shiquan - Rochester The intent was to pull a senior prank and have fun. They should have used washable paint.
Yeah, they also should have gone with something a little bit more skillful, too. I've seen better graffiti on Lyell Ave. Even Jean-Michel Basquiat is positively rolling in his grave!!
A blue STICK PERSON on the School of the ARTS???
I'm hoping that for my Art-teaching colleagues sake THAT Krylon-toting criminal was a Drama major.
# 44. 6/13/12 10:29 AM by Matt - Rochester, NY
Hey #38---the RPD can't tie their shoes right when it comes to real crime out there. I don't need a paddy wagon for kids who spray painted their school. Give them appearance tickets and get back to the real job. That is a waste of taxpayer money---the inefficiency of a failing department. We should be ranting about all these shootings of 2012 and why those aren't being taken care of. It is a waste of taxpayer money for these police officers to get no results on crime that affects the safety and lives of people in the city. But good for them, they solved the case of the spray painting bandits!!! Score one for RPD!
# 45. 6/13/12 10:34 AM by Bob - Irondequoit
Similar thing happened at McQuaid a few years back. The students involved were expelled and had to enroll in their respective public school for the remaining days of the school year. For the seniors (some of whom had attended McQuaid since 7th grade) that meant the loss of the prestige of a McQuaid diploma. I think the loss of graduation ceremony privileges is appropriate but insufficient on its own.
# 46. 6/13/12 10:43 AM by Bart - Webster
Spray paint graffiti on their diplomas and mail them to the ingrates.
# 47. 6/13/12 10:44 AM by Jack - Greece
Kick it through the goal posts of life?
# 48. 6/13/12 10:47 AM
Me smell a rat when it comes to Kodak patents....
# 49. 6/13/12 10:51 AM by Pat Harper - Belfast
The only answers the parents should be seeking are ones from the involved students. WHY did you think it was ok to damage your school? WHAT gives you the right to do this? WHO do you think you are? The busy body parents should shut their pie holes and straighten their kids out, they're offspring are obviously idiots and punks. I hope the Principal has some balls and tells the guilty students and their families that their presence at graduation is not welcomed. Frankly, if it were my kid who did something like this..I would be ashamed to show my face.
# 50. 6/13/12 10:52 AM
#2 is an idiot. We already spend as much per student in the city as we do in Pittsford. The schools aren't better in Pittsford, the students and families are. Keep throwing money at the schools has proven to be a waste. Moving troubled kids to other schools only masks the problem.
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