High school homecoming pranks have gone too far, parents say

Ocean Springs High School in Mississippi, along with other area high schools, are celebrating homecoming this week.
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 9:48 AM CDT
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OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX/Gray News) - What is supposed to be a fun and innocent prank war between students of a Mississippi high school has parents worried and even filing police reports.

Ocean Springs High School, along with other area high schools, are celebrating homecoming this week. Among the weeklong celebrations, a prank war has begun between the juniors and seniors of the school.

A Ring video from a woman was sent to WLOX of a suspected prank. In the video, she said five boys from the high school were seen throwing eggs at her cars, squirting mustard everywhere, and worst of all, tossing white paint on her and her daughter’s new cars.

At what point do these pranks become criminal?

“If I go on your property, that’s trespassing,” said Capt. Ryan LaMaire, public information officer for Ocean Springs Police. “The homeowner can sign charges on you. If I throw toilet paper into your tree, that’s littering. If we catch you, we can arrest you. When you cause damage to someone’s property, that’s malicious mischief. That’s another crime.”

LaMaire said Ocean Springs Police has received multiple reports of vandalism throughout the week.

“Every night, we’re answering suspicious people calls, and it’s basically kids out vandalizing property,” LaMaire said.

Eggs, toilet paper and even white paint are not the worst vandalism calls they have received.

“We’ve had windows smashed,” he said.

One woman posted on Facebook and said she woke up to hotdogs, bologna and some toilet paper on her property. Another said kids poured salt and syrup on her Jeep and salt in her gas tank.

If the people committing these crimes are minors, they could lose a lot, LaMaire said.

“If you get caught, this could affect someone’s college career,” he said. “Say you’re an athlete, you have a scholarship and you get arrested. This can affect the rest of your life.”

Ocean Springs High School released a statement to parents and students on Tuesday saying activities like this are strictly prohibited on school and district property.

Any student found to be vandalizing school property, another student’s property or a staff member’s property while on campus will be subject to disciplinary action.