Rochester, N.Y. - Rochester Police arrested and charged 28 students accused of vandalizing the front entrance of the School of the Arts.
Spray paint was sprayed on the bricks, glass doors and windows around 3 a.m. according to school officials. Security cameras in the area caught the incident on tape but officials would not disclose what the cameras showed.
"We have wonderful students at SOTA; we are saddened and disappointed at what likely began as a prank escalated into this unfortunate situation. There will be consequences." said Brenda Pacheco, Principal of School of the Arts in a written statement distributed to the media on Tuesday.
A day of rain and a professional cleaning crew hired by the district helped to clean up the damage by Tuesday evening.
The students were charged with one or both of the following misdemeanors; Criminal Mischief (Making Graffiti) and Criminal Trespass. All but one of the 28 charged were issued appearance tickets.
Students and parents gathered outside the school Tuesday afternoon said an annual senior prank often includes toilet paper on the trees and paint on Prince Street outside the school. While both were also evident Tuesday morning it was the graffiti on the door that had Rochester Police Officers entering SOTA throughout the day and leaving with various students in handcuffs.
"The guys who were painting the ground, like the street, I could show sympathy for them I don't think that they deserve to be hauled away in police vans but there should be disciplinary actions, definitely for those who did this but as far as being arrested I think it's a little much," Joseph Scardino, a SOTA Senior said.
"We're kind of proud of our school reputation, like our graduation rate and such, and this is going to really show negative effects of some of our students and we don't want it to," Scardino continued. "Because it's maybe a few poor apples in the group that have this stupid event on our hands and it's going to showcase the entire school and our administration and it's not fair to anyone."
Some parents gathered at SOTA Tuesday afternoon were quite upset at the lack of information being provided to them by the school's administrators.
"When I called up to the school they said there was nothing going on, I said there is something going up on because my son called me and said the police are up here arresting kids," Nikki Carr whose son attends SOTA. "When I came up to the school there's parents up there, nobody's giving no answers, the principal is running around (and) she's trying to arrest parents for what? We're trying to find our kids, what's going on?"