Five teens from Arlington, Texas, are in trouble after police accused them of tagging school property with racist graffiti in their attempt at a senior prank.
According to CBS, Ethan Sigmund, 18, Ryan Westbrook, 17, Hayden Honoloka, 17, Cameron Bodenstab, 18, and Christian Joeckel, 18, are facing felony charges for writing racist graffiti at Martin High School.
If proven guilty, the teens could face up to a year in prison and a hefty fine for damaging school property.
The students, each of whom attends Martin’s rival, Arlington High School, sprayed profanity, vulgar images, and phrases on the school’s exterior. This includes the phrase “Whites Only” above a drinking fountain and “Trans Only” next to a bathroom.
The teens intended to pull a prank on their rival school. Unfortunately, their actions could lead to some serious fines and possibly even jail time. All of the students involved in the matter are close to graduating, though their future is now under question.
According to MSN, after police arrested the teens, each one of them immediately confessed to the crime. Although they expressed regret for what they did, police are still planning on holding them accountable for the graffiti.
“They were pretty remorseful. I don’t think they gave a lot of thought to the ramifications,” Lt. Christopher Cook shared. “Unfortunately, you’re held accountable for, and there’s consequences when you engage in this sort of behavior.”
Their bond is currently at $2,500 apiece.
Apart from the aforementioned graffiti, Crime Blog is reporting that the students also wrote numerous curse words by the school’s football field. At the same time, green markings were also found on the jungle gym.
“Payback for the parking lot,” was written beside the illustration of a horse.
A colt is Arlington High School’s mascot. The graffiti on the jungle gym included pictures of horseshoes in green paint, which also happens to be Arlington High’s colors. Both of these clues led investigators to contact Martin’s rivals for any leads on who may have drawn the images.
The racist graffiti was discovered at some point Wednesday morning. As early as Thursday morning, cops had already talked to students and eventually arrested those responsible for the senior prank. It didn’t take long before the teens admitted their mistake.
Considering the racist nature of the graffiti, many students at Martin wondered if they should retaliate against their rival school. Fortunately, the students decided against tagging the school in revenge.
“The next class came in and talked about what they were going to do in return,” math instructor Silas Robinson stated. “Some of the students were saying no, don’t. Don’t react. Because you really don’t know.”
As far as the students are concerned, many from Martin High School felt as though the prank was childish and immature. Thankfully, none of the students felt the need to retaliate.
“For them to do something like that to another school is very disrespectful and immature,” student Kirstin Pham noted. “I feel like we’re all miniature adults and should be treating each other as such.”
For Robinson, the math teacher just encouraged his students to keep away from inciting any more trouble.
“Finish the way you began,” he shared. “Stay strong and focused.”
At this point, it isn’t clear what will happen to the five teens. Their fate now rests in the hands of a judge, who will determine whether or not the maximum penalty is in order.
Considering the racist and anti-transgender nature of the graffiti, the teens are not going to get off without paying some penalty for their actions. Whether or not this takes the shape of a fine or time behind bars is yet to be seen.
Tell us! Do you think the students should be penalized for their senior prank gone wrong? Let us know in the comments below.
[Image via Arlington High School Website]