Teaneck School District says senior prank damage was minimal despite reports

School officials are disputing statements made by police concerning vandalism at Teaneck High School. (5/2/14)

TEANECK - School officials are disputing statements made by police concerning vandalism at Teaneck High School. 

A total of 63 students were charged with breaking into the school for a senior prank.

In a statement, Superintendent Barbara Pinsak says the district does not condone the poor judgment of its students, but says reports of destruction and mayhem were exaggerated and misrepresent the school and community. 

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The police chief characterized the damage as "extensive" Thursday, saying students flipped over desks, sprayed graffiti on walls, and urinated in hallways.

Today, Pinsak said janitors found only a small amount of graffiti written with water-based marker. She said they did not find any evidence of urine, and there was no damage to furniture in the building. 

Many parents are upset and say police blew the incident out of proportion. "I think they overdid it on the report," says Brandon Senior, a junior at Teaneck.  I don't think as many things happened as they said. They just tried to make it bigger, make it worse for us."

Jennifer Jones, the mother of one of the accused students, says she was in the school and didn't see the destruction the police described. "There wasn't urine on the floor," Jones says. "There weren't busted windows. No. It wasn't like that at all."

Students say elevator keys given to injured students may have provided after-hours access to the school. "Most of them are the same for the doors," says Christian Ozoria, a junior at Teaneck. "After a kid gets hurt, they get an elevator key and make multiple copies of it."

The police chief has not responded to a request from News 12 New Jersey for a more detailed account of what officers found.

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