WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- It's the last week of school at Hoggard High, and seniors should be preparing for the next step and getting excited about graduation. Instead a few of them may not be walking at graduation at all after what looks to be a senior prank gone bad.
The students at Hoggard are usually greeted by words of welcome, but today the message was less friendly.
"It is unfortunate, and we take any kind of vandalism or criminal act very seriously, but I want to say that this is not representative of our student population," principal Pam Baldwin said.
Sometime between 11 p.m. Tuesday and 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, someone vandalized Hoggard High School. Much of it was graffiti directed at Baldwin.
Although they don't know for sure, students and their principal think they have an idea who is responsible.
"I thought it was childish, but I think it's a senior prank," Hoggard senior Rochelle Fillyaw said.
The students who did this probably were not thinking about the consequences.
"The detectives have their different techniques and mannerisms in which they go about finding information and finding leads. They will continue on with that until they do find a culprit, at which time if they have enough evidence they will prosecute," New Hanover Co. Sheriff's spokesman Cpl. Jerry Brewer said.
But it's not just the legal system the offenders must worry about.
"Of course, vandalism and a criminal act is something that is suspendable," Baldwin said, "and could also have consequences such as not walking at graduation on Saturday."
Whoever did it, classmates are not impressed.
"I'd have a word with them," Hoggard senior Adonte Gladness said. "I'd say, 'Y'all should have put your names so we can know who did it so we could see who's dumb enough to write all that.'"
Fellow senior Andrea King said, "The whole thing is disrespectful, especially since it's a new principal. This is not a good welcoming for her at all."
Many Hoggard students we talked with today said that although the prank may have gone overboard, the consequences of not walking at graduation are a little too strong.
Deputies have not identified any suspects, but the investigation continues.