Teaneck Teens Crossed Not-So-Fine Line, Larchmont Resident Says

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Angela Barbella said students need to be punished.
Angela Barbella said students need to be punished. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly

HARRISON, N.Y. – Some in Harrison said the line between a high school prank and a crime isn’t a fine one and that the kids involved should face the appropriate punishment, including the 62 Teaneck, N.J. students arrested after breaking into their high school to commit a senior prank this week.

The teens spray painted walls and sprayed silly string on floors, urinated in the hallways, smeared Vaseline on doors, taped hot dogs to lockers and flipped desks early Thursday morning.

An alarm went off in the school around 2:30 a.m. Teaneck Police had the help of 17 surrounding departments to round-up the students, according to CBS 2. There were 38 minors and 24 over the age of 18 arrested.

Like Teaneck Police Sgt. John Garland, Angela Barbella, of Larchmont, said she thinks the students didn’t realize the seriousness of their actions.

“I believe what they did was vandalism and not just a prank,” she said. “I think they crossed the line, just went too far. So, I think they should be punished for it.

Sarah Reynolds, of Harrison, said she understands pulling a senior prank, but once the kids broke into the school and vandalized it, they crossed the line.

“That should be nipped in the butt,” she said. “The real shame of it is you know there’s probably like three ring leaders. You know most of them were followers.”
Another consequence Reynolds said she would be worried about is if the colleges these students plan to attend hear about the incident.

“I would just hate to think the kid who wants to fit in and goes along with what the head of the football team tells you to do and you end up not going to the college that you want to go to,” she said. “My kids go to Rye Country Day and they kick kids out for a lot less than that.”

Jane McCarty, who has lived in Harrison her entire life, said she doesn’t remember any school pranks that “came close to that.” She is a third-grade religion teacher at St. Gregory The Great Church and said kids are no longer learning to be considerate of other people and property.

“They’re probably intelligent kids,” she said. “So I don’t think it’s just a fine line, I think there’s something very wrong there.”

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Sidebar - The phrase should be: "nipped in the BUD" (not butt). It means to stop a problem before it grows, hence the flower "bud" reference. Sheesh!