The Teaneck High School prank led to 60 arrests after the teens sprayed silly string on floors, taped hot dogs to lockers, flipped desks, urinated in school hallways and smeared Vaseline on doors.
Officers discovered the vandalism after they responded to a burglary alarm at the school around 2 a.m., Teaneck police Acting Chief Robert Carney said at a news conference. When police arrived, several students ran from the building, while others hid inside.
In the end, 63 high school seniors were arrested, including 24 adults, Carney said. The 39 juveniles were released to their parents.
All of them were charged with burglary and criminal mischief, Carney said.
Because of the number of students, police from more than 15 agencies assisted Teaneck officers at the school, Carney said. A K-9 team from the Bergen County Police Department’s bomb squad also swept the building before classes.
A Bergen County Sheriff’s K-9 unit found eight juveniles hiding in a classroom, according to agency spokesman David Martinez. Students were loaded into sheriff’s vans and taken to the township police headquarters without incident after the arrests.
Police said it was not immediately clear how the teens got into the building overnight and investigators were working to collect security camera footage from the school.
More punishment could come from the school district, Superintendent Barbara Pinsak told reporters.
“The district continues to assess the situation and is considering the consequences that we’ll impose on any students implicated,” she added.
While the damage was widespread, it wasn’t permanent, officials said. High school workers cleaned up the mess within a few hours.
The high school opened as usual Thursday despite the disruption, but the arrests were the talk of the school through the day. Many took to social media to share reactions and photos of the damage.
“The word’s spreading very rapidly,” said Romareo Anderson, a high school senior.
“I was aware of it but I didn’t take part because it just didn’t seem right at all,” he said.
Mohamed Beretey, another senior, also said he didn’t take part in the prank.
“I didn’t take part because I knew the consequences I was going to face,” he said. “I’m a football player, I’m an athlete, so I didn’t want my scholarships taken away from me.”