72,000 lady bugs released into Md. school for senior prank leads to criminal charges


Students protested Tuesday after learning some of their classmates will face discipline following a school prank at their St. Mary's County high school.

Pranks committed by graduating seniors are nothing new. But at Chopticon High School, the prank was certainly original and involved tens of thousands of lady bugs.

The students released 72,000 lady bugs inside the school building last Wednesday night as their senior prank. However, school officials and police are not laughing and some of the kids are in legal trouble.

"Please let me walk," said Brian Reminga. "It was a harmless prank."

That is the message Reminga has for school administrators as he will not be allowed to walk at Chopticon's graduation because of the prank.

Six Chopticon senior students and one alumnus broke into the school at around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday and released the lady bugs inside.

Now they are facing criminal charges. Four minors were charged with fourth-degree burglary, property destruction and disruption of school activities. The other three will be charged as adults by criminal summons.

Sgt. Cara Grimbles, a spokesperson with the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office, explained why.

"They set the burglary alarm off and the police did respond and we arrived there," Grimbles said. "Then it takes it to a different level and we certainly don't want to see anybody get hurt."

Mike Wyant, director of safety and security for St. Mary's County Schools, told FOX 5 that the school followed protocol with regard to the decision to notify police. Wyant told parents that their primary concern was the level of potential danger the students put themselves in by breaking into the school.

Friends are outraged that Reminga will not be able to walk at his graduation and the class president will not be able give a speech at the ceremony either. This after they say another one of the students involved was allowed to play in the baseball state championship game after the prank, which the school won.

"Somebody just ordered bugs on Amazon and we decided to do it," Reminga said. "I wasn't really part of much of the planning."

"You work four years for something and that is to walk across the stage, and then a little thing like that shouldn't ruin that much," said one of Reminga's friends.

"I don't think that they should go straight out of high school with these criminal records that's going to make them not get a job, get into college," said Trinity Alexander.

Both the school and district offices were closed on Monday because of Memorial Day. We emailed the principal for a comment, but have not heard back.

Chopticon's graduation is on Wednesday.

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