Gallup High teacher weighs in on senior prank fallout

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GALLUP, N.M. — Following a recent senior prank at Gallup High School that got dozens of students suspended, one teacher is speaking out about how much damage was actually caused.

Josephine MacLean told KOB 4 she does not know how students got into her room in the early morning of April 1, but claims they did not leave behind a mess.

"My room was – it had a single roll of toilet paper around sort of the chairs in my room, and then a student had written some gibberish on the whiteboard in a whiteboard marker," she said. "Teachers were using words like this is tame. I heard one teacher say, ‘well, they did this really responsibly.’"

A press release the Gallup McKinley County School district sent out Thursday, claims the school was, "covered in graffiti (including vulgar images), trash, multiple impediments to stairways and hallways, damage to the offices, floors, walls, and other interior structures."

MacLean said she did not notice any serious damage to the school in the days following the prank.

"I didn’t see anything that I would call like permanent graffiti or tags, or there was nothing like that," she said. "In terms of this senior prank, while there are absolutely legitimate concerns about the fact that the seniors didn’t come consult with administration before they did the prank, the actual impact of the prank was extremely minimal."

MacLean added that she is concerned about the impact the prank could have on students’ futures.

"If they did get long-term suspended, this could greatly impact their graduation,” she said. “This going on their records could also impact things like scholarships, college acceptances, and the district is going as far as to threaten criminal action, which could have a huge impact on the student’s chances of careers in the future."

MacLean went on to say, "I feel like I need to step in and protect my students from their own district."

KOB 4 tried calling the deputy superintendent at GMCS again Friday, and has left multiple voicemails in an attempt to ask follow-up questions about the district’s press release. We have not heard back. We did get a hold of the principal of Gallup High School, who said she “cannot comment on anything at this time.”