Wilkes County senior prank almost costs students their spot at graduation

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Tuesday, May 21st, 2019 / News 12 at 11 o'clock

WASHINGTON, GA (WRDW/WAGT) - Tables flipped over, balloons in the hallway, and more; all part of a senior prank for some graduating seniors at Washington-Wilkes Comprehensive High School in Wilkes County.

But that prank almost cost them a walk across the stage at graduation.

Two of the seniors involved in the prank told News 12 they were shocked to hear rumors they could even be facing charges after leaving a mess at their school.

They said it was all in good fun, but things got serious-- fast.

"We've just overcome....so many statistics, and just people who told us we wouldn't be able to do it and we did it. And now parents are being told their children wouldn't make it. It broke their hearts," said senior Ke'Anthony Kendrick. He and fellow graduating senior Chanel Wingfield spoke to News 12 today,

They both say they were at a loss for words when their senior prank blew up in their faces.

"I didn't know what to think at first. I was like, are y'all for real? Are you punking me? But it turns out they were very serious," said Kendrick.

Both he and Wingfield were with a small group of students who unlocked and trashed a couple of hallways and the cafeteria late Sunday evening.

"We went in as a group, and they were telling us we couldn't walk, that we wouldn't be able to attend graduation...and that we would receive our diplomas the following Tuesday," Wingfield said.

Chanel is class president; Ke'Anthony--the drum major.

"I really worked hard on my speech, and now I can't say it at graduation? I just walked out of the office cause I started to cry," Wingfield said.

A day later...a crowd of about 50 people gathered outside the Board of Education to protest.

"People who graduated in previous classes were out here...parents, friends, all of that. We had a big turnout," Wingfield said.

Thankfully, after new information came to light, school leaders changed their minds.

"This is the last time our class is gonna be together as one," Wingfield said, when asked why walking together with her classmates was so important to her.

"[It's ] Our last big hoorah," added Kendrick.

They both say they're ecstatic to be walking together after all. But, they have a message for the juniors...

Not to walk in their footsteps!

"I advise you not to do a senior prank your senior year. It will not be worth it. I promise you that," Kendrick joked.

These students are not out of the woods yet. Then and the entire group involved in the senior prank have a mandated 16 hours of community service they must complete at their school before early June.

If they don't, their transcripts won't get sent out and they won't receive their diplomas--which are being withheld from them Friday during the ceremony.

Right now though, they and their families are just happy they get to be a part of the celebration.