Administrators allowed to press charges


Carly Kinning

Johnston police officers are investigating the details of the vandalism from Thursday, Sept. 25. Multiple places on the campus were vandalized.

Olivia White, Staff Writer

Homecoming week each year is filled with the same events, however, this year’s homecoming week held different activities. There were several accounts of vandalism and defacing property during the night students TPed.

“I’ve been teaching for 14 years,” head football coach and P.E. teacher Brian Woodley said. “And I’ve never seen anything like it.” Waking up to see the football field and stands trashed was a first in homecoming history for Woodley, and he said he could not believe the amount of disrespect students could do to their own field.

“I’ve never actually understood why Johnston TPs their own stadium,” sophomore Sophie Catus said. “It’s just weird to me, and this year everything was just taken too far.” After all the events that went down, it is hard to tell if TPing will ever be quite the same.

The leniency towards TPing is decided by the school since it is their property. Law enforcement takes orders from the school. “I would say (Johnston administrators) probably will take a harder stance because it got so out of control, but that’s something the school will have to come up with and how they want to handle it in the future,” student resource officer Jessica Jensen said.

When examining how to handle those who TPed the school, law enforcement has no specific laws that state TPing within them, instead going by policies or degree of damage. “What we look at is the degree of damage,” Jensen said. “When you’re TPing, there’s no permanent damage.”

Jensen believes the TPing went too far. “It was more destructive criminal mischief that defaced property.” Once defacing the property comes into play, different circumstances can take place, such as charges can be pressed, suspensions can be made, and things put on permit records, because the school is enabled to that right.

Though it may seem unclear what the real restrictions for TPing are since there is no law directly stating TPing, The school still has the right to press charges with even the smallest amounts of TPing. It has been a privilege provided by the administrators to allow TPing to take place. “It’s just too bad that what could have been a fun experience was ruined by a few careless decisions,” Catus said.

TPing is uncertain for the future. “What was once a fun thing, will no longer be due to the actions this year,” Jensen said.


*An earlier version of this article stated that TPing the school will not be allowed for future high school students. No one confirmed this statement. This story was updated on Friday Oct. 17 at 2:00 p.m.