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- by Julie Tam, FOX 41 News
A football game Friday night between two historic rivals was six players short. They were among 25 students suspended for vandalism before the game. Graffiti on a school bus is just one example of the vandalism Male High School students are accused of committing against Manual High School.
Both sides showed plenty of school spirit, despite rain at the 117th Male-Manual football game. Six of the suspended students were on Male's starting lineup. JCPS administrators say their school spirit went too far. "Over the years they have pulled some pranks on each other. Normally, it's a 500-pound pig put on the stairs at Manual. But this year it went a little beyond that," said Lauren Roberts, JCPS spokesperson.
School officials believe Manual students started it Saturday night, when they vandalized Male. "There was some graffiti spray painted and a truckload of manure placed in the parking lot with some signs in it," said Roberts.
Then late Wednesday night, officials say Male students retaliated. Manual students say Male students painted a ram yellow on the back of a trailer at duPont Manual Stadium, and among other things, they also put toilets filled with manure on the Manual campus.
"We were all a little bit upset. I mean, I'm sure a lot of people wanted to get back, but our principal told us just to keep it clean and just prove ourselves out on the field and get them back that way," said Kayla Smith, a Manual cheerleader.
Most of the damage at both schools has been cleaned up, except for a Manual activity bus spraypainted with the word "Male."
Investigators are trying to figure out which Manual students were involved, and once they do, the students will be disciplined.
"I really do think that they need to be caught. I mean, what they did to our field was they wrote offensive language on our field. They pretty much destroyed our football field," said Kathleen Beachy, a Male senior.
"Unfortunately, you do the crime, you have to do the time," said Roberts.
Male's principal will meet Monday with parents of the suspended students to discuss details of the individual suspensions, which likely will range from 6 to 20 days. Both schools will figure out the cost of property damage and cleanup, and then seek restitution.