Senior prank at Belle Chase High sparks controversy and claims of inequality

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BELLE CHASSE, La. — A senior prank at Belle Chasse High School is forcing the Plaquemines Parish School Board to re-evaluate its policies.

Last week, a group of seniors raised a Trump flag and wrote “liberals suck” on school property.

“I remember looking at my phone and looking at the pictures and just being like who decided this was the prank of the school year? Who decided that this was going to get the laughs, the giggles and a good reaction,” said Breanna Morris, a Belle Chasse High senior.

Morris said classmates were pictured flying Trump flags on school property and writing hateful political speech.

“After the pictures went viral, a lot of the white seniors were saying well, I don’t see what’s so bad about it. It’s just a joke or some were like, ‘what are they going to do about it? Cry?’ It’s like you know what you did was wrong,” Morris said.

Now, the school board is looking to see if their policies are clear when it comes to political flags, posters or any other campaign material on campus.

“The flag was placed onto school property…it was no longer an exclusion because it came off of their personal property onto school property,” said board member Jennifer Sanger.

Board member Darilyn Demolle-Turner said, “I can’t come with my BLM shirt on and tell my daughter, here you can put this on during PE. Like we shouldn’t be able to do that. There’s a uniform.”

Superintendent Denis Rousselle maintains some policies need to be adjusted, but cautions student rights must be protected.

Meanwhile, community leaders and the local chapter of the NAACP believes there’s racial discrimination when it comes to discipline.

“Our children are being impacted by this in a very negative way,” said Tracy Riley.

Following the meeting, the superintendent initially had no comment until we began pressing him.

“All I can tell you is there was an investigation made, it was done by law and it was done appropriately and quickly,” Rousselle said.

When asked if black students are treated differently than white students, he said, “Well, that’s not true! That’s not true.”

Belle Chasse High’s Principal is also defending her name and school.

“It is my administrative team’s job to not simply hand out consequences, but to talk to these students and help them not repeat these behaviors again,” Jemi Carlone said.

It’s unclear if the students involved in the ‘senior prank’ will be allowed to walk across the stage on graduation day.

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