Photo: Contributed Photo
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WESTBROOK â Two students who admitted to being involved in placing fake male sexual organs on the roofline and the front of Westbrook High School have been suspended and will be barred from walking in graduation, Superintendent of Schools Patricia A. Ciccone said.
Ciccone said that based on the materials that were used and how they were affixed to the school, she does not consider this a prank. She added that others agree.
âI know the principal is not (considering it a prank),â she said. âAnd what I have seen of materials, I wouldnât call it a prank either.â
She said there were many fake âmale appendagesâ hanging off the roofline, affixed to the front of the school building and signage and âand a very thick, sticky kind of goop part of the whole statement.â
She said the fake penises hanging off the roofline could only have been placed by accessing the roof.
âWe have gas lines, we have electrical lines, solar panels. Itâs a gravel, flat roof, so we donât know the extent of running around up there,â she said. âItâs a dangerous place to be at night. Security cameras were tampered with and left covered, so if we have had anything else that night, so thereâs quite a bit more to it.â
Two students, who admitted to being involved, have been suspended, initially for 5-10 days, depending on the outcome of evidence and the investigation, Ciccone said. They have also been barred from walking in graduation. There names were not released.
While there is possibly a third student involved, there is no clear evidence of who that individual is at this time. The police are involved with the investigation.
Ciccone said the incident is indicative of a much larger problem.
âThe incredible realm of incivility that is happening now,â she said. âYes, I think everything is escalating. Are we able to handle it? Do we handle it in our office?â
Ciccone said fourth-grade students from the local elementary school had been scheduled to be at the school at about 7:30 a.m. to practice for an evening musical concert. Custodians worked diligently, starting early in the morning, to clean up the school prior to the younger studentsâ visit and the start of school.
âWe seem to be living in an age when people just say anything they want to say, itâs out of their mouths and then weâre doing the work constantly of restoring relationships because thereâs been so much hurt and so much harm,â she said.
Ciccone said school safety is of paramount importance.
âWe rarely have issues like this here,â she said. âThe way we approach things is, there may be consequences, there are always consequences. You are held accountable for your actions.â
She noted the old days when a senior prank was turning the school fountain green, creating a beach at the front door of the school or putting a âFor Saleâ sign out front.
âBut, weâre more interested in you being held accountable for the harm and for repairing and restoring the harm, because in the end, those that are going to be with us are going to be with us. So, we want safe environments for all,â she said.