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Some Belton seniors celebrate graduation with their own ceremony

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BELTON, Mo. -- They weren't allowed to attend their graduation ceremony after a senior prank didn't go over well with the school district.  However, a group of Belton High School seniors managed to put on their cap and gown and walk anyway.

Instead of a district administrator, it was a parent, calling ten seniors up to hand them a fake diploma.

Earlier this week, several students were suspended, meaning all school activities were off limits, including their own graduation.

"What they did was wrong, very wrong," Jenny Smith, a parent, said.

The students broke into the school, trashing it with party streamers, balloons and confetti.  They even painted the windows with washable paint.  Student Travis Smith said it was kind of worth it, because it was memorable, but he really upset his parents.

"They just were so disappointed in me and I felt really bad like it was eating me," Smith said.

That's why they came up with this last-minute graduation ceremony, drawing more than 50 family and friends.

Smith's mother said even though she was disappointed, she knew she wanted to see her son in a ceremony.

"After I found out that nothing was destroyed that all they did was the confetti and the balloons, I think that they're just teenagers.  They're dumb kids.  They have a lot to learn," she said.

The students said 40 students were punished. They said along with the suspension, each of them had to pay $30 in restitution in order to get their diploma.

But the students say they are grateful for the district's actions, saying it could be much worse.

The district said earlier this week, there might have been non-students involved.  If that is true, the district will look into charging those individuals with breaking and entering, which is a felony. They could also face vandalism charges.

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