UPDATED: 21 Picayune Memorial High School Students Arrested on Campus

Published 1:53 pm Saturday, May 4, 2024

Authorities in Pearl River County have confirmed that 21 students of Picayune Memorial High School were arrested on campus Thursday night.

Sheriff David Allison stated that all 21 students arrested were at least 18 years old and charged as adults with malicious mischief following what he described as a “prank at the school that escalated.” The teenagers were taken into custody and booked at the county jail, where they remained until their parents arrived to post bond.

The high school’s resource officer, Chris Wagner, declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation. Requests for comment from the school and school district have yet to be answered.

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Picayune Police Chief Joe Quave affirmed that the school district police department is leading the investigation and that officers from the Picayune city police department assisted with the arrests.

Parents of the affected students have spoken to The Picayune Item, providing details about the events leading up to the arrests. They disclosed that the original prank included throwing toilet paper, confetti, and silly string around the high school. Students arrived at the high school around 9 PM and were contacted to return at around 10:30 PM to clean up the school. Eventually, they were transported to the county jail, where parents could pick them up. Many were picked up Thursday night, but some stayed until Friday morning.

Both parents and students felt unfairly punished for what they believed was initially permitted. They claimed that the original plan included a staff member of the school leaving a window ajar to allow students to gain access to the school.

Parents and students reported that non-senior and first-year students ended up at the school and engaged in activities the seniors had not planned. One confirmed incident involved a fire extinguisher being discharged in the gym.

This is an ongoing story and will be updated as information becomes available.