High school football player banned from graduation after toilet paper prank
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WTKR) - Toilet paper is known as a classic senior prank and overnight Sunday, students at Tallwood High School unloaded more than 250 rolls. But one student is paying the price. Hayden Anderson, who is a lineman on the football team and went to every school event said he was suspended for three days and now is not allowed to walk in his high school graduation ceremony.
"There was no profanity, there was nothing broken, there was nothing destructive. If you go up to Tallwood now, there's nothing up there," said Anderson, who added by the time he got to school in the morning almost all of it was cleaned up.
Anderson told News 3's Kim Cung he was escorted by security guards into the principal's office Monday morning.
"I've never had that happen to me in my life," said Anderson.
According to Anderson, Tallwood's principal James Avila was more upset Anderson wouldn't tell him the names of other seniors who participated in the prank. Anderson said those are his best friends and he can't give them up.
"I'm not allowed to be at graduation, I'm not allowed to be on school premises in the next three days and I'm not walking. I'll get my diploma in the mail," said Anderson.
To Anderson, his family and friends that punishment is too severe. Anderson is also a lineman for the football team, went to every school event, even traveling to South Carolina on his own dime to support the baseball team.
"I've been working for this for 12 years and you're going to say toilet paper is the worse thing I can do? It's been done thousands of times all throughout the country. So why am I being punished and not being able to walk because of toilet paper? If you want me to clean it up, I'll clean it up," said Anderson.
Virginia Beach City Public Schools sent News 3 this statement:
As always, we want to remind all our students that, even in this last week of school, the Code of Student Conduct is in place and they should use their best judgment when at school and on school grounds.
"Taking away his privilege to walk on that stage, to me that's just wrong. He earned that right," said Nick Yarrington, a baseball player who says Anderson is more than a best friend, he's a brother.
Graduation at Tallwood High School is Thursday and Anderson said it hurts thinking that he isn't allowed to be there, especially since he has so much school pride and loved representing the school on the field.
"There's no other feeling," answered Anderson when asked what it was like to run onto the field wearing Tallwood colors. "I'll miss that feeling for the rest of my life. Tallwood is everything to me. I bleed purple," said Anderson.