NEW BRAUNFELS – A senior prank gone too far at New Braunfels High School on Wednesday night ended with a crowd of trespassing students detained by police and a massive cleanup effort before the school could reopen.
New Braunfels ISD said multiple groups of students were roaming the campus overnight and left behind a “huge mess.” Though there had not been any criminal charges filed as of Thursday morning, a NBHS senior told KSAT she had been suspended and might not be allowed to attend graduation.
“They basically said anyone who came last night is automatically being suspended,” said Liberty Ruhl.
Pictures circulating among students show toilet paper strewn from the ceiling, and NBHS senior Hank Boatright told KSAT he saw people throwing meat and eggs against the walls.
“Most of the kids were innocent, and they didn’t want any part in that. It was probably about 10 or 15,” said Boatright, who estimated there were at least 100 kids at the campus for the prank.
A screenshot of what appears to be an NBPD email was posted on social media and listed other damages, like locks broken off trophy cases, stolen trophies, holes in the walls, drains clogged with mashed potatoes, and flooding from water fountains with tied-down handles.
An NBPD spokesman said he could not confirm or deny the information in the message because it was an ongoing investigation.
The department says officers were called out to the school at 10:20 p.m. for reports of people in the school.
They arrived to find “a large number of people committing acts of criminal mischief,” according to an NBPD statement.
Though the crowd scattered, NBPD said officers were able to detain a “relatively large number,” who were all identified and eventually released from the scene.
The department said the district was still assessing damage estimates, and no charges have been filed yet.
Boatright had been expecting a much tamer senior prank, balloons and toilet paper, “but it got out of hand not long after showing up.”
“I was given a time, and I was told there would be balloons. And so I just kind of showed up,” Boatright said. “I think that’s what most kids did, too. I don’t think a lot of kids knew it was going to be this bad.”
Boatright said there were people throwing meat and eggs and “a lot of vandalism,” and that he “got out once I realized stuff was going downhill.”
“I think when everyone’s with their friends. They just kind of think it’s funny to go crazy, and so people just got out of hand,” Boatright said.
WATCH: Parent of suspended student weighs in after New Braunfels High School senior prank gets ‘out of hand’
Ruhl had also been expecting a mild prank.
“I came in the back entrance, and it was just balloons, streamers -- that kind of stuff. And I was like, ‘OK, this is what it planned out to be.’” Ruhl told KSAT. “And then, like, a couple of people walked in with, like, cheese and instant mashed potatoes. And I kind of knew from there it was going to go south. And there was, like, people like, barricading doors with, like, tables and stuff like that. People had ski masks on, obviously trying not to be seen by the cameras. After that, I just left.”
Ruhl believes security cameras picked her up and was expecting to end up having to speak with school administrators. However, she did not expect to end up suspended, given the limited time she spent in the school.
“The principal told us, like, ‘No matter how far you went, as long as you trespassed initially, as long as you went in the door, you’re suspended,’” Ruhl said.
Ruhl said she will be out of school through Monday and will then have in-school suspension for finals on Tuesday and Wednesday.
However, graduation rehearsal is also on Wednesday, and if she is unable to attend, Ruhl says she won’t be able to go to the actual graduation the next day.
Ruhl and her mother, Teri, are unclear whether she will be able to walk for graduation yet or not, though Teri Ruhl said she talked to the principal.
“He basically just said it’s an investigation, and it’s to be determined after the New Braunfels Police Department does their investigation. They’ll get back to us and let us know who will be walking and who won’t be,” Teri Ruhl said.
A NBISD spokeswoman said that because of privacy issues, she could not comment on whether any students have or will be suspended.
The school district originally pushed back the high school’s start time to 11 a.m. on Thursday morning to ensure the campus was presentable.
However, several employees were pulled in from around the district, and staff members were able to finish before the normal start time of 8:50 a.m.