Rochester, N.Y.- Students at School of the Arts involved in vandalizing the school June 12 will be allowed to take part in Friday’s graduation ceremony if they complete 10 hours of community service.
SOTA and the Rochester City School District completed its investigation into the vandalism that occurred on school property. As a consequence for their actions, the students will be required to clean lockers and remove graffiti throughout the school prior to Thursday, June 21 at 4:00 PM. If the students complete their community service, they can participate in SOTA’s graduation ceremony at the Auditorium Center Theatre.
In a statement Thursday, the principal of School of the Arts, Brenda Pacheco said, “We are mindful of the importance of allowing young people to learn from their mistakes and of the powerful educational message conveyed when a student
crosses the stage to receive their high school diploma. Though, it is important to differentiate rights from privileges. This has been the single most-difficult and heartbreaking experience of my 28-year tenure in the Rochester City School District. The entire school community will have cause to celebrate once these students have completed their service, and earned the privilege of walking across the stage at graduation.”
Pacheco hosted a meeting Wednesday for the senior class, and their parents and guardians to provide the final decision regarding the consequences and to prepare for commencement. During this meeting, the expectations for appropriate behavior at graduation were outlined.