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Five Shorewood High School seniors were suspended and given a $177 disorderly conduct ticket for toilet-papering the school campus. The incident is defended by some as a harmless prank that has been a back-to-school tradition in Shorewood for decades. But school and police say the tradition requires a costly cleanup and has led to more serious acts of vandalism at the school.

We'd like to know what you think. Share your views in our interactive forum.

110 Comments for "Were Shorewood officials too harsh on pranksters?"

  1. I am a some what recent grad of Shorewood High School (class of '08) and all I really have to say is this.

    Come on police and Joynt, get some sense of what this means for those of us who have grown up with older brothers and sisters going out the night before school starts and hanging out with them practically until school starts that day. I know it was one of those few things I looked forward to when senior year was approaching, and things have gone down hill for so long, i mean they took away Toilet papering the Freshman's houses, Big Hound Little Hound Day, then the senior march through the halls, then the car parade to start the school year, and now this. I mean what can seniors look forward to other than its that last year in the school system and then they can get out and be free.

    Joynt I am willing to bet that you are younger to the school system then any of the SHS seniors or even Juniors so I think you should have waited at least a few years before you made any decision like this, (I know you want to make a name for yourself so kids don't think that they can get away with anything but getting rid of a time honored tradition id the wrong way to go) you need to know how much everybody looks forward to these events and the time when it is their turn to do them.

    Also one more thing Joynt seniors are some people that can make you job a little easier and when you have a crowd of people not happy at you at a time, things can't end up too good, I mean you want to make friends with the seniors not to mention the rest of the kids.

    Stephen Sep 10, 2009 2:16 AM

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  2. Good. Spoiled brats and whining parents should get a life. Suck it up and accept responsibility.

    Andre Sep 10, 2009 3:15 AM

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  3. Yes, it is fair. Three years ago, the school cracked down on the toilet papering by hiring a security firm to monitor campus on the night before the start of classes, said the school's second-year principal, 33-year-old Matt Joynt.

    Also, parents were told in a newsletter before the start of the 2008-'09 school year that the toilet papering and parade were no longer allowed.
    Some traditions are not right and its time steps are taken. Yes it is a fair decision.

    jane hughes Sep 10, 2009 6:20 AM

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  4. I grew up in a small town an hour north of Milwaukee and this was a major tradition there as well. We accepted the risk when we stepped onto school grounds and purposely starting covering it in white. We had to run from the police from time to time. All of which we knew was against the law and brought us closer to the hands of the law and the school.

    I don't feel any sympathy for these kids besides the fact they got caught. They will be able to plead out with some hours of community service and a hard slap on the wrist. No major harm or foul. But the school does incur additional cost in cleanup and resources.

    If these kids weren't punished by law and the school, what's the determinant for other kids to not repeat next weekend or next month? Kids were having fun but even fun has repercussions.

    Tim R Sep 10, 2009 6:24 AM

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  5. The students were told last year that the toilet papering would no longer be tolerated, and when you add in the other vandalism committed beyond the toilet papering, they definitely deserve the tickets. This is a good chance for the parents to teach these kids to be responsible for their actions, but the parents are teaching them just the opposite lesson- mommy and daddy will get you out of trouble for whatever you do.

    Jim Sep 10, 2009 6:24 AM

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  6. Officials were not too harsh on the student vandals.I do relize that this was a time honored tradition that has been a harmless prank to toilet paper the school which to me is fine.But now the students have to take that harmless prank a step further with also toilet papering homes of freshman students.Who wants this mess on their property?Also the worst part of the whole deal is that some geniuses get bored with just toilet paper and decide to vandalize property.If the students were encouraged to put as much effort into their studies by their parents rather than giving them rolls of toilet paper this would not be an issue.

    Larry Sep 10, 2009 7:17 AM

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  7. tax payers have to pay to clean up the mess....fine the parents

    BOBBY RAGTOP Sep 10, 2009 7:18 AM

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  8. After reading Stephen's comments I think someone needs to look into the grammer program at Shorewood. Yikes!

    Mike Sep 10, 2009 7:34 AM

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  9. It's sad that some of you think that this is being "solved" by Mommy and Daddy and that this is a case of "spoiled brats," obviously none of you have children and none of you were children at any point. Kids mess up, that's what kids do...Did you know what you were doing when you were 17 years old?! I sure as heck didn't. If the police and the principal had such an issue with what the boys were doing, they should've immediately notified parents and informed the boys of options, such as cleaning the school and houses (so it didn't come from "TAXPAYERS" money) or the option of the ticket and the intimidating arrest (obviously unnecessary and clearly used just to make a statement). Also, if Shorewood High School and Shorewood Police Department wanted to use these students as an example, they should've been "fair" (as they saw it so fair to address and treat the students as they did), gotten all the names, and punished EVERY individual involved in the TP-ing incident, not just the ones they could actually catch after chasing them. I agree that certain actions of breaking rules should have repercussions, but I also believe in being fair and that the punishment should fit the crime. In this case, I think they took the extreme way to prove a point and that it was unjust.

    Jill Sep 10, 2009 7:36 AM

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  10. I think it's too much. The school did not reiterate this year that there would be no pranks, and my son (also a senior but not involved) didn't know that they were still banned. I would suggest community service instead.

    Deanne Sep 10, 2009 7:52 AM

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  11. I'm tired of our communities letting our children off the hook every time they screw up. There was a rule, they knew about it and they deliberately disobeyed it. Take responsibility, suffer the consequences and get on with your life. Sorry if you have to answer for that on a college application. That's a consequence too. If a student had been injured during these 'traditional' festivities, you can bet that there would have been lawyers standing in line to sue the school district for not controlling the behavior. The consequences would have been born by the taxpayers then!

    Amy Sep 10, 2009 7:58 AM

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  12. If I walked down the street dropping paper, I would expect it to be littering. The Journal/Sentinel does this with the Weekend Plus section that used to be delivered in the mailbox. I would expect both of these incidents to be punished equally with tickets for littering at the least.

    Greg Sep 10, 2009 8:05 AM

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  13. Shorewood ... get a life! Once again the "political correctness" capitol of the state upholds its reputation. Are students who T.P. freshmen' homes now going to be arrested ... the jail will be overflowing and budget problems will be solved? How about going after bike riders who go through stop signs and dog owners whose canines mess up lawns. There are so many real problems with which to deal in Shorewood!

    through stop signs and dog owners whose canines mess up lawns.

    Chuck Sep 10, 2009 8:09 AM

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    KATHY PRESTON Sep 10, 2009 8:09 AM

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  15. There is nothing different about what these children did and what happens every weekend with the Journal/Sentinel delivery of the Weekend Plus section which used to be delivered into your mailbox. Throwing paper or toilet papering a property is simply what it is. Littering. And, I would expect both instances to be treated equally.

    Greg Sep 10, 2009 8:15 AM

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