Law enforcement authorities and school officials are investigating a case of vandalism at Menominee junior/senior high that took place either over the weekend or early Monday morning. <br>EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard
Law enforcement authorities and school officials are investigating a case of vandalism at Menominee junior/senior high that took place either over the weekend or early Monday morning.
EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard
MENOMINEE - What may have started as a "prank" ended up being nothing short of vandalism, according to police and school officials in Menominee. When staff arrived first thing Monday morning at the junior and senior high, they immediately knew something was very wrong.

"Whoever did this, first of all they broke into the school, which these days you don't do those things," said Menominee Police Capt. Brian Barrette. "We're checking into some leads we have."

Damage was found on both the first and second floors. It was so extensive, staff and students had to enter through the rear doors because the front of the building was not accessible.

"There was some significant vandalism done to the main hallway, guidance office and main office," said principal William Paris. "They spread shaving cream and toilet paper and broke eggs all over. It was an unbelievable mess."

The vandals wrote profanity in shaving cream on some of the doors, got into Paris' office and destroyed two of his jackets and a pair of shoes, went through lockers on the second floor, tipped over trash cans and scattered rotten fish in the guidance office, including in the heating vent.

The police department and the school are both taking steps to deal with what happened. Both are counting on the students to do the right thing.

"I'm strongly encouraging the parents and students of the high school to get to the bottom of this," said Barrette. "We need their help. If they could either call the local police department or Crime Stoppers and remain anonymous."

Crime Stoppers serves both Marinette and Menominee counties. Callers can remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward. Barrette said there's another way to make contact and that's through Text-a-Tip. Text 274637 (CRIMES), then type in Marinette and then Menominee High School. Barrette said a student was paid Monday for leads provided in another case that was dealt with at the school level, not the courts.

Paris said he had a hard time accepting the destructive actions and wanted students to understand that vandalism is not acceptable and that what happened was a lot more than just what some were calling a "senior prank."

"What's the culture of the kids that they feel that this is something that is a right of social passage? As you get older you can just do this as a senior prank?"

To make sure students knew just how serious Monday's incident was, Paris brought the entire student body together for an assembly so they could all hear the same message loud and clear.

"It's unacceptable," he said. "What they did was against the law. We don't view it as a senior prank because if there were seniors who were part of it, I don't know if there were or not, I'm not going to classify all of our seniors in that group."

On the positive side, Paris said he talked one-on-one with 15 or 20 juniors and seniors who were very upset and apologized on behalf of those who did the damage.