Officials of the Snake River School District are considering disciplinary action against eight senior students and a coach accused of pulling a prank that resulted in $5,000 to $6,000 damage to a new classroom wing and closed the school Friday.
Some students, fearing that the coach would be fired and extracurricular activities canceled for the rest of the school year, staged a brief demonstration Tuesday.Principal Tracy Thompson said once the students were told basketball coach Dan Hale would not lose his job and the entire student body would not be punished, the group quickly disbanded.
School officials said eight seniors, all males, herded three cows and two calves into an eight-classroom unit at the school Thursday night. The also brought in a bale of alfalfa and left the animals overnight.
The resulting mess caused school officials to cancel classes Friday and call in professional cleaners. The school reopened Monday.
The cattle belong to Jerry Hansen, who owns a farm next door to the school. The Snake River District covers much of western Bingham County.
A deputy's report accuses Hale of knowing of the students' plan the day before and not retrieving a master key from a student who borrowed it Thursday. The students have been suspended from school.
Superintendent Elzo White said he hoped something constructive would come from the incident.
"One of those things is attitude within the school district, the fact that some other adults knew about the students' plan and didn't do anything to stop it indicates the problem is deeper than what we found on Friday morning," White said.
White declined to reveal what disciplinary measures he and Thompson will propose to the board and said whether charges will be filed is up to the prosecutor's office.
"What we have here is eight kids who pulled a practical joke. By and large they are good kids, but they did a stupid thing and now could face felony charges in district court," Capt. John Cowley of the Bingham County sheriff's office said.