More than 100 doors at a Simi Valley high school were glued shut in a prank that authorities described Wednesday as “felony-level vandalism.”
Faculty at Royal High School discovered the vandalism as they arrived on the campus around 6:30 a.m.
Nearly a dozen school employees feverishly worked to clean the industrial-strength glue from locks so students could get to their first-period classes, said Michael Clear, assistant superintendent of business and facilities for the Simi Valley Unified School District.
After squirting the glue into the locks, the pranksters also stuck pennies to the outside of the locks to make sure the liquid dried in place, Clear said.
Clear said a precise damage estimate was not immediately known because school and district officials were still trying to determine how many locks would have to be replaced.
“There are harmless pranks and then there are pranks like this which are very expensive to fix,” Clear said.
Simi Valley police Lt. Stephanie Shannon said a school resource officer and school officials quickly identified the two seniors responsible for the prank. Schools officials decided to work with the families to recoup any costs associated with the prank.
The students, who were identified through surveillance video, physical evidence and interviews, will not walk with their classmates at graduation, she said.
“With schools being challenged with budget cuts, these kinds of pranks are very costly at a time that schools can least afford it,” Shannon said. “With these potential charges, they were facing a permanent adult criminal record all for the sake of a prank. The amount of the damage and costs associated with the damage would normally reach felony level vandalism.”