Md. student's appeal to walk at graduation after lady bug senior prank denied

A senior prank cost a Maryland student the opportunity to walk with his classmates at his high school graduation.

Last week, senior student Brian Reminga was part of a group that let 72,000 lady bugs free inside Chopticon High School in St. Mary's County.

On Tuesday night, he appealed to school officials hoping to change their minds while pleading in person before the superintendent to allow him to join his classmates at graduation.

"My family came all the way out here from California," said Reminga. "Please let me walk."

Those were the words he offered his school district's superintendent as a last attempt to walk at his graduation.

"I would really like to see Brian walk," said Hunter McFalls, the school's senior class president. "He's a really good kid. He did make a mistake, but he is asking for forgiveness and I kind of feel like he deserves it."

However, school officials did not think he was deserving after Reminga, five other Chopticon students and an alumnus allegedly broke into the building overnight last Wednesday and littered the place with lady bugs.

According to school officials, it took seven staff members about four hours each to clean up the mess.

"I wouldn't want them to risk something so important, and I figured the penalty would be harsh," said Dr. Lou Ann Logue, Reminga's AP psychology teacher. "But at the same time, I was glad that nothing was vandalized."

She said she is Reminga's biggest advocate and she even wrote a letter to the superintendent asking for leniency. He is the only one of the six alleged graduating pranksters that will not wear a cap and gown and walk before their senior class.

McFalls said he had no part in the prank. According to students, they say Chopticon's principal does not trust what McFalls would say at graduation, so instead, the principal offered him to speak at Tuesday's rehearsal.

"It's the 50th graduating class and there are a lot of speakers at graduation, and I was told that time is too short for me to speak," said McFalls.

An eleventh hour apology from Reminga may have come too late. He said he has been suspended from school several times this year for having his cellphone during class and getting too rowdy during games. He thinks this was likely the last straw.

"I'd also like to apologize for my actions because I regret everything that I did and I don't think I deserve this and the school didn't deserve that from me," said Reminga.

The students involved at this point are facing several charges, among them fourth-degree burglary.

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