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Teaneck Schools: Reports of Prank 'Exaggerated,' No Urine Found

63 students were arrested after allegedly breaking into Teaneck High School Thursday morning for a senior prank.

Barbara Pinsak
Barbara Pinsak

Reports of a senior prank that saw more than 60 Bergen County high school students arrested this week were “exaggerated,” according to the students’ superintendent.

Teaneck Superintendent Barbara Pinsak and the district's administration posted several press releases and a letter to parents on the schools’ website Friday saying that she was disappointed by the students’ prank, but that it was not as severe as was reported immediately after the incident.

According to the releases, the prank was not as destructive as perceived, and the school’s custodial staff was able to clean it up in time for school to start at normal time Thursday.

The cleanup “consisted of returning desks to classrooms, removing a small amount of graffiti that had been written with water-based marker from several surfaces, cleaning a petroleum jelly product from doorknobs, returning tables and chairs in the student center and cafeterias to upright positions and sweeping the many balloons and toilet paper streamers that had been distributed throughout three floors,” Pinsak said on the website, noting that the prank caused no permanent damage to the school or anything in it.

There was also “no indication of urine” in the school despite reports that students urinated in the hallways as part of the prank, she said.

Pinsak also said she was concerned that the “exaggerated” media reports about the prank that she said, “misrepresent our school and community.”

However, she did say that the students are facing consequences from law enforcement officials and the school district, including ones that may affect their college acceptances and scholarships.

“The district in no way condones the poor judgment or behavior of any of our students,” she said.

“The District continues to assess the situation and is considering the consequences it will impose on the students implicated.”

Esther Sandrof May 08, 2014 at 04:58 PM
I love the way people love to jump to foul conclusions about Teaneck High School students. My daughter, a THS student, was taken aback by the racist overtones to much of the online commentary about the students. Perhaps the only bright spot in this mess is that my kids now have firsthand experience with the toxicity of the internet.
Macko D May 08, 2014 at 06:14 PM
Esther, There will always be racism - from both ignorant blacks and ignorant whites. Let's not allow that to become a distraction from the issues at hand. I would decry vandalism and urinating on someone else's property in ANY situation. There is no excuse for it. I see the coverup machine is well underway... sanitizing this disgusting behavior.
JeffO May 08, 2014 at 11:30 PM
Coverup machine? Curious how some people seem emotionally invested in believing the absolute worst about these kids and therefore insisting that the initial reports couldn't have possibly been overblown. Meanwhile, you have the pathetic spectacle of Teaneck's top law enforcement official dancing around his unfounded assertion that damage was "extensive" with the preposterous and embarrassing "clarification" that "there was a lot of damage" though "dollar-value-wise it doesn't appear to be significant" or "irreparable." What he then described was a big mess, not "extensive damage." On the "damage" score the best he could say "it had been reported" to him that "some of the chairs that had been turned over in the halls MAY have been broken." Yes, he stuck to his "urine all over the hallways" line -- but that was before the custodial staff said otherwise. Really, if he can't credibly support "extensive damage" without looking completely ridiculous, why should we take his word about the urine over that of the custodial staff? If there's any cover-up going on here, I think it's the effort to cover the acting chief's sorry acting butt.
Richie V May 10, 2014 at 01:49 PM
Sorry but she appears to be lying and should be removed from her position if in fact the urine reports etc. were true as originally said by the police chief of Teaneck and he should come back at this also!
Richie V May 10, 2014 at 01:51 PM
If she gets this down really good she will be ready to run for political office!

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