FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) — Four high school senior girls in Fort Collins missed their graduation ceremony over the weekend — all over a prank involving condoms. Hundreds of students stood behind the girls and signed a petition urging the school to reverse the decision, but the headmaster of Liberty Common High School says the girls aren’t telling the whole story.
“It makes me really sad because you only get to have your high school graduation once,” Eva Peterson told CBS4.
What started off a senior prank, quickly turned into a life lesson for Peterson and three of her friends.
“We had a box of 25 condoms and we put them in very select friends’ [lockers], a total of nine lockers,” Peterson said. She says while the prank was meant to be funny, she was also making a statement about the school’s stance of sex education.
“I feel they’re imposing their political and perhaps religious views on us and taking it too far,”Peterson said.
When condoms got into the hands of middle school students, who share the same building with high school students, headmaster Bob Schaffer said the prank was no laughing matter.
“We do not permit or tolerate sexual bullying of targeted children under any circumstances, and there are general rules about disrupting the educational process during the school day and so those are the prevailing rules that are not just school policy, they are state laws that compel an administration to rush to prevent the child victims,” Schaffer stated.
All four girls were banned from walking at their graduation ceremony.
Eva’s parents stepped in and wrote a letter to the board of directors. Her mom, Laura Hester, says she never got an explanation from the school, but stands by her daughters decision to speak out.
“She has both felt the pressure of people trying to punish her for something she feels is unjust and she’s using her voice to speak out against it,” Laura Hester said.
Even though Eva and her three friends didn’t get to walk at graduation over the weekend, classmates and family members celebrated them at an alternative ceremony Saturday night.
“I’ve learned that your actions do have consequences whether you like it or not,” Peterson said.
The headmaster wouldn’t share more details about the prank due to privacy laws.
The girls say they never meant for middle school students to get involved.