YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Acting Teaneck Police Chief Robert Carney tonight countered township school officials’ claim that an overnight prank-gone-wild led to “exaggerated reports,” vowing that the evidence eventually presented in court “will support the charges filed.”
In a letter to parents yesterday, Schools Superintendent Barbara Pinsak said that the arrests of two dozen 18-year-olds and complaints against 39 juveniles for burglary and criminal mischief led to a “very negative portrayal through the media.”
“Misrepresentations of what happened” detracted from the good aspects of the school, she added.
Pinsak said that she didn’t condone “the poor judgment or behavior” of those involved but was concerned about descriptions of what was characterized as a rampage.
For instance, she said no urine was found, despite reports to the contrary. What’s more, district officials said, graffiti was scrawled with a water-based marker.
Students flipped desks, taped hot dogs to locker, smeared Vaseline on doorknobs and sprayed silly string, the superintendent said. But no furniture, equipment or other property was damaged.
Seven custodians completed their work in an hour and a half, before the start of yesterday’s school day, Pinsak said.
“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 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 streamer that had been distributed through three floors,” she said in a statement.
She emphasized that school officials weren’t contradicting law enforcement authorities but simply were following up with a report from their maintenance team.
Carney, in turn, said the case is “moving forward through the legal system.”
He also reminded everyone that the charges “are merely accusations and all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”
“We understand [school officials’] disappointment in how the school was treated,” Carney said, “and join them in encouraging others to refrain from such activity.
PHOTO: Courtesy Nj.com
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