Students, social media posts remind community that the whole class wasn’t involved in the vandalism
By Denise DuBois
In the aftermath of Friday’s vandalism at Smiths Station High School, posts began flooding social media reminding the community that it wasn’t the whole class involved in the senior “prank” vandalism.
On Friday morning, students and faculty were greeted at school with toilet paper, spray paint and wild animals.
It didn’t take long for students to begin reaching out by posting on Facebook. Senior Class President Jahnari Edwards wrote: “As the Senior Class President of Smiths Station High School, I along with the other class officers and senior class apologize for what took place at our campus on yesterday! I am very disappointed in those who took part in this. We as a whole did not participate in the “prank” nor did we know what was going to happen. It frustrates my heart to know something like this took place, however, we understand that the class is responsible for what took place. We only ask that this doesn’t bring shame to the wonderful school and city most of us know it to be. Smiths Station High School is the best school in Alabama and we as a class do sincerely apologize for any negative attention we have brought upon our school. Once again we ask that the community does not associate the whole class with this horrible act of vandalism.”
Smiths Station’s Panther News Network took to social media, too, to remind everyone of the good that is taking place.
They wrote: “Since we are the news organization at SSHS, we want to share some facts with our students and community:
“1. Our track team is hosting sectionals today and tomorrow, and many of our track athletes have qualified for next week’s state championship.
“2. Our ROTC program just dominated a major competition and handed out their awards tonight.
“3. Our baseball team swept the 1st round of the playoffs tonight and will host the 2nd round next Friday.
“4. Our yearbook staff received a national award for this year’s publication.
“5. Our boys and girls soccer teams won the area championship and will host playoff games Tuesday.
“6. Our award winning band and choir programs will perform concerts in the next 10 days.
“7. Less than 1 percent of the senior class let a prank get out of hand and vandalized the school, which will lead to punishments from our outstanding administrators when the investigation is complete.
“So we must ask, what will you choose from above to share and talk about this weekend? Seems to be a lot of great things going on at SSHS! (We do apologize to any groups or individuals left out of our shout outs, too much good going around that we are sure we left something out!)”
Even Smiths Station Mayor F.L. “Bubba” Copeland wanted to remind the community of the goodness the students still have.
He wrote: “One of the misfortunes of our time is lumping everyone into one category. What happened last evening at Smiths Station High is inexcusable! However, let’s not be so quick to lump all Smiths Station Seniors in the same category. Fortunately, as the mayor, I have had opportunities to work with this amazing Senior class and what happened last night is not an overall picture of the class of 2018. In this class, we have bright young people; future leaders, teachers, doctors, soldiers and productive members of society. Unfortunately, in the court of social media everyone is guilty until proven innocent. So, I ask you in Facebook land please consider the “Good” students’ feelings, the administrators’ feelings, the teachers’ feelings, it’s been a long day for those guys. Let’s all put the blame where blame is due and highlight the good things! Unfortunately, Bad news sells! But in my opinion, a rising tide floats all ships and the class of 2018 is a rising tide!”
As of last week, administrators and law enforcement were still investigating the vandalism.