Food fight costs five seniors the opportunity to walk at graduation

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Five suspended seniors won't get their diplomas at Thursday night's graduation ceremony at Turner High School.

Students say it's because of a senior prank blown out of proportion. Their families say its unfair that their kids were singled-out.

School officials confirm it was last Friday when their school cafeteria was turned upside down. An email from the Turner Schools office confirms that many students were involved in a food fight, and it cost five of them the chance to participant in graduation ceremonies.

Their parents told me that's more punishment for them than it is for the students who broke the rules.

A student's cell phone picked up the action as the Turner High School cafeteria went crazy last Friday.

Video shows some students running for cover, while others throwing food as part of the fracas.

"I'm upset. I don't get to walk," Kenny Clark, a suspended Turner High senior, said.

Five of them will answer for the fight, including 18-year old senior Kenny Clark. He and four others are suspended from school, and won't be allowed to walk across the stage during Thursday's school graduation ceremony.

"Silly senior prank," Heather Clark, Kenny's mother, said.

Both Clarks say they know what Kenny and his friends did was wrong, but it isn't worthy of being punished twice.

"Bad decision," Heather Clark said. "I don't think it's worthy of them not walking across the stage. That's punishing parents and families."

Turner Schools District Assistant Superintendent Jason Dandoy told FOX 4 News videotape shows that some students were the instigators of Friday's food fight. That's why students like Clark are being punished.

"It's heartbreaking," Resi Custer, Kos' mother, said.

"There was over 100 kids involved, and they're not willing to show me the video. I have no proof of why they're suspending him," Custer said.

Custer says Dandoy told her it's against school policy to share that video with family members.

"They can't get their yearbooks signed," Custer said. "They can't go to after-graduation parties. Anything."

"I want to know why five kids were singled out -- out of one hundred, and I can't get an answer to that question."

The five suspended students will also take their final exams on Wednesday, while other students are scheduled for a day off. Dandoy says school surveilance cameras caught the food fight on tape. However, he denied our request for a copy of the video.

Click here to see Sean McDowell's FOX 4 Facebook page.


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  • Marcia

    I don’t believe that they should take the walking across stage away.. I know it seems little to some, but if it were my student I would probably want legal representation.. From what I have seen and read they are singling out 5 kids who are seniors, but others have gotten away with things that should have caused them to not walk across the stage.. Frankly it ticks me off that they would choose this punishment for kids..

  • THS Graduate

    “Officer I was only going 15 over the speed limit. I didn’t hurt anyone. No harm. No foul, right?”

    The reality is, rules are there to prevent harm. A number of things could have went wrong.

    A student could have been hit and injured by a tray.
    A student could have slipped on the mess on the floor and been injured.
    A student with an allergy could have been put in contact with a certain food.

    The rules are there to prevent the could haves. And because they were warned, the BOE has every right to follow through with what they said they would take away. It’s not like they weren’t told this would happen.

  • Turner school mom

    I love the fact that all of Turner school distract had video now and if your child get in trouble, the parent does not have the right to see the video. you can get a play by play from a Principal and listen to it over the phone. It’s a car of they are right and your child has no rights. And neither do you

  • Inactive

    The parents ought to be ashamed of themselves for going on tv and whining about the punishment. As a resident of Turner and a parent of former Turner students, it’s embarrassing.

    These seniors are 18 years old, and if not, they soon will be. If they pulled a stunt like this anywhere else, they would be facing criminal charges. When you break the rules, you don’t get to decide what the punishment is; you accept the consequences of your actions. That’s called being an adult.

    Dear Turner students: welcome to adulthood.

    • Truth

      Some thoughts…

      1. If there were over 100 students involved in the food fight, why are only 5 being thrown under the by the district?

      2. If the district is so confident from the video that these kids were involved, why aren’t they willing to offer it to the parents for their viewing?

      • Rules are Rules

        You do realize that due to student privacy acts/laws, the board can’t show the parents the video? It may have their child in it but it also has others in it and without the consent of those parents, they cannot show the video. They have made that statement & as a former student, I remember that rule.

    • Terry Roberts

      No, it’s double punishment. They were suspended, yet given an extra punishment of not walking. And yes, parents should be ashamed that they never taught their kids right, but it’s still double jepoardy no matter how you look at it and if they had video and over 100 in it, why was only 5 punished? Even if they were instigating, if the others participated, they were still wrong and punishment should have been met out. School officials need to back off of this once in a lifetime event.

  • RM (@kanzaz)

    The punishment is too harsh. Find another way to punish them. This will potentially cast a shadow over their entire high school experience. Are these students not more than this one incident? Hopefully they will rise above all the fray and go on to succeed, whatever their next endeavors may be. I would hope that the district would reconsider.

  • Why Mess With Fate

    Another time where the parents are crying “not my poor son or daughter, they wouldn’t do that”. Where are the parents who make their children take their punishment without whining. Understand now kids before later, all your actions come with a reaction whether positive or negative. You were involved, they can prove you were involved. Take your punishment and move on. This proves that you better think things through before you do things like this. Only a prank, who had to clean up your silly prank? Walking across the stage doesn’t actually make you any more “graduated” than just receiving your diploma. You choose a stupid path and by doing so cost you the path across the stage.

    • Terry Roberts

      Why just 5? And why is the school afraid to show the video? Does this administrator have something personal against these 5 only? Maybe some clean up work, but it was “Senior Prank” and others have gotten away with it at that school. But to give them double punishment is not right. The suspension should have been it. And actually it is triple punishment since they have to take their finals on a senior day off.

  • You Get What You Give

    From the punishment this year you can believe it will not happen next year. The school has a right to protect its property. If these same children came to your house and spray painted it as a senior prank, how understanding would you be at that time? Schools are paid by tax dollars from all citizens, many like myself have no children in school any longer as they have all graduated. I believe the school had no other option but to take their course of action for punishment since there were not enough days for suspension, not like they can flunk them. They will still obtain a diploma just will not walk across the stage. And for the parents crying how foul this was and how you waited so many years to see them walk across the stage…..maybe….just maybe you should have raised them better and to respect other people and other people’s property.

  • Just Saying

    I’m not here to say if I think what they did and the punishment are the correct choices. All I’m saying is that to many kids in high school, these guys that were suspended are many other’s heros. Every kid DREAMS about starting a food fight in the cafeteria, and these guys did. The fact that they had the guts to go through with their plan while the others just sit back and talk about it, is incredible. I applaud you, even though what you did was very dumb, but it was your last hoorah and you wanted to go out with a bang. You guys will go far in life, good luck getting out of the wormhole you’re in now.

  • Brittany Hathaway

    They are Protesting because of that. tomorrow morning at 6 am. I go to Turner High, it is irritating that they cant walk but a senior can be at school drunk. Last year some seniors spray painted lockers and didn’t get into trouble.

  • Hyou

    Those who do not understand the need to enforce the rules are probably the same as those who will complain and offer unending excuses when their child breaks the law.
    Those who do not understand that an idiot who will throw a tray and/or food at school, endangering others who may have an allergy, be hemophiliac, or other concerns including contusion, head injury, and more, do not realize those same idiots would likely do something else idiotic at graduation.
    Those parents of any student that does these types of things, then wastes everyone’s time, energy, and money are the same ones whose kid – of not already – will end up imprisoned, or involved in crimes for which they do not get caught, as the kids will know their sheep of a parent will excuse their inappropriateness away.
    Those who want to waste everyone’s time having to read and hear about their excuses and whining about how supposedly mean it is the idiots are properly not allowed to ruin everyone else’s graduation, it probably would be better then to charge them with assault, possible aggravated assault, and other charges, so they then could also pay something for their idiocy – payments for damages, waste, and criminal intent – and not get a mere slap on the wrist by not being in the graduation service.
    Thank you to the school district for doing something proper, correct, and in the interest of those students who want to have an education, be safe, and not have to worry about the next idiot to affect their education and future.

    • Rules are Rules

      They way I see it…

      The students that DID follow the rules are being rewarded with graduation.

      If those that clearly disobeyed got to walk too, then I would think it would be unfair to the hundreds others who chose to be good students and not risk the lose of walking.

      All in all, they will still receive their diplomas. When I graduated, no one got theirs on graduation night anyways. They were all mailed!

      Time for them to go to college and get a degree. College graduation is far more important and exciting anyway.

  • Codey Bailes

    My only thing is why are they getting punished when there was 100 other people doing the same exact thing…? But also its a Senior prank… There are chances of the prank going wrong in many different ways… But it never did go wrong… I just believe that they should have got suspended and should have cleaned up the mess they made in the first place… Obviously people are going to have their own opinion… But why make them feel like graduating wasn’t even worth it… They worked just as hard to graduate as the other 100 students that were involved and to feel like you actually graduated Is walking across that stage with no better feeling, and knowing that your family is proud. That’s basically punishing everyone in a way.. Their best friends can’t even be with them walking across the stage. And their family is being punished for not being able to watch that once in a life time moment…


    From one of the old High School Alum (Across from Christie’s, back in the 1980’s): If you are one of the kids who participated in this ‘Act of Civil Disobedience’, rest assured – outside of your High School, you would be sitting in JAIL. Trust-you-me (Sorry, Resi C, but kids need to learn how to live proper in a society), I should have said something when the kid who lockered next to me showed up and showed me some silver-set-knuckles that had a large knife-blade which would pop out with the flip of a switch. That odd kid killed his neighbor about 3-weeks later as he was breaking into that neighbor’s house trying to steal guns/knives. Hey, it was all good and fun (bringing knife to school, acting out in the name of Senior Celebration, breaking out car / house windows because it felt right… raping girls because it was part the GROUP THINK of the mob in which one participated…. Really?). What’s the difference?? The kids who did this in the cafeteria and the kid who carried a knife 30-yrs ago, they weren’t hurting anyone at the time, right? The truth is, until these Kids are recognized as Adults – their behavior is your responsibilty. AND IF THEY ARE 18+, this behavior is CRIMINAL. Good-Luck!
    ~ signed: from LEAVENWORTH, KS, to WINFIELD, KS

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