Archive for Friday, December 22, 2006

Tips sought in painted rooster prank at school

December 22, 2006


Free State High School students on their way to the last day of classes before winter break Thursday were confronted with an unusual scene: two live roosters painted green and chained to trees along the school parking lot.

Feathers also were seen around the school's Firebird statue, Free State senior Mitch Morrow said.

The prank occurred the same day of the Lawrence High-Free State basketball game, a day that fans of both teams have circled on their calendars. Lawrence High ended up winning the game 43-42.

Julie Boyle, Lawrence school district communications director, said Free State had filed a police report regarding the chained, spray-painted birds.

Authorities said the animals appeared to be unharmed.

Lawrence police Sgt. Dan Ward said there were no suspects in the incident, but he encouraged anyone with information to call police.

Free State sophomore Tyler Arachtingi was one of the first to notice the green roosters.

"It was tightly bound by both legs," said Arachtingi, who picked up one of the birds. "Its legs were green."

Arachtingi walked into the school to tell friends what he'd seen. Soon, about 50 teens had gathered around the tree.

"Word spreads fast in high school," he said.

Sophomore Nash Riggins heard about the rooster story as it made its way around the school.

"I guess LHS is really serious about the rivalry," Riggins said. "I hope Free State beats LHS in basketball, but I'd never take it that far."

Lawrence High School principal Steve Nilhas said his school was aware of the situation, but didn't know a lot about what happened.

"We don't condone people vandalizing property. We don't condone cruelty to animals, but we continue to investigate," Nilhas said. "We know it's a rivalry, but we want to promote a healthy response."

Lawrence High senior Taylor Renfro said the rivalry is natural.

"For the most part, I think it's healthy," Renfro said. "More power to them when they pull pranks like this."

If the pranksters turn out to be Lawrence High students, Nilhas said the school would determine what policies had been violated and take appropriate disciplinary measures. That could include referring the matter to police as a cruelty to animals case.

Cruelty to animals is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $5,000 for the most severe cases.

Nilhas said the school resource officers from both schools were involved in the investigation.

"There are laws that have been violated," Nilhas said.

Free State assistant principal Mike Hill declined to comment on the incident.

This is not the first prank resulting from a Lawrence-Free State game this year. Three LHS students broke into Free State and stole two state championship banners before the October football game. Those students were suspended from school.


rollcar 11 years, 2 months ago

Are these apparently ongoing pranks as one-sided as it appears?

formerfarmer 11 years, 2 months ago

"Authorities said the animals appeared to be unharmed."

What is the abuse if they are unharmed. Its alright to tether a dog or cat, but not a chicken?

oldgoof 11 years, 2 months ago

"There are laws that have been violated," Nilhas said .. 'Scruffy's Law' makes an appearance.

weeslicket 11 years, 2 months ago

what? no pictures?? as pranks go, this one is pretty amusing.

Confrontation 11 years, 2 months ago

Pywacket, please stop. You are making me hungry for a juicy chicken dinner!

newsreader 11 years, 2 months ago

This is crazy, when I was in school we did much worse things then paint a chickens legs and tie them to a tree and it never caused near this much controversy.

countrygirl 11 years, 2 months ago

Thank you Pywacket--you said what I was thinking.

mistygreen 11 years, 2 months ago

Hey Pywacket, get off your soap box and stop twisting the issue back to your agenda. The issue about an ongoing rivalry. I'm curious as to how people would feel if the tables were turned back on LHS, and some LFHS students painted two kittens/cats and tied them up? Tell me then what would be the difference. The chickens you rant about are being raised for food. If you choose to not eat them, then that is your choice. However, the chickens involved in this prank came from somewhere. They are property to someone, and if they were stolen, then it also becomes theft.

newsreader 11 years, 2 months ago

Yeah... wonder why nobody has reported 2 roosters missing?

jrhighmom 11 years, 2 months ago

My son goes to Freestate and said the roosters WERE harmed, that one had it's wings broken. So no harm done? Maybe the official word should come from the Animal Control Office on that.

Students that do this kind of thing - what will they do next to an animal thinking it's "no harm done"?

Confrontation 11 years, 2 months ago

"Students that do this kind of thing - what will they do next to an animal thinking it's "no harm done"?"

I don't know. Maybe they'll think about it over their McDonald's Chicken McNuggets.

lawrence_citizen 11 years, 2 months ago

If they are hurt, bring them over to my house, I'll "doctor" them up.

auturgy 11 years, 2 months ago

You know why these pranks seem so one-sided? Because they ARE.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 2 months ago

Oh, get over it. Some animals are raised for food. That's just the way it is. If you want to change that, go join PETA and stand on your soapbox elsewhere.

Yes, animals raised for food can and do go through some horrendous experiences in captivity. Usually done in the name of corporate profits.

But that in no way excuses what these kids did. What are you saying, that since corporations do worse than this, that's it's okay for kids to torment birds (or any other kind of animal) just for fun? That anything done in the name of "harmless" rivalry is okay?

So if one person does it, that makes it okay for everyone, huh?

It was stupid, it was cruel, and if your little darlings were involved and you think it was no big deal, then I shudder to think what they could do to another human and also think it was no big deal.

If you think it wasn't cruel, then let's spray paint you and chain you to a tree. I'll bet you'd think it was cruel if YOU had to live through it.

And by the way, free range chickens aren't usually spray painted and chained to trees, are they?

jrhighmom 11 years, 2 months ago

confrontation might react differently if it was your hunting dog tied up and sprayed green. typical

Confrontation 11 years, 2 months ago

Sorry, don't have a hunting dog. I've yet to hear a report that someone's "pet chicken" is missing. It's interesting how people ignore animal cruelty when they don't have to see it. People freak out about painting chickens, but they are okay with eating beef that comes from tortured cows. Don't kick the dog, but please have a slice of roast that comes from a cow that was thrown off a trailer (right before it was electrocuted). Yes, I eat meat. No, I don't have guilt.

happyone 11 years, 2 months ago

if putting a chicken on a tether and painting it green is so atrocious then someone needs to tell all the lazy parents that put leases on their children how awful that is!!!

happyone 11 years, 2 months ago

oops that should be leashes not leases

Kelly Powell 11 years, 2 months ago

Roosters should be slow cooked....coq a vin comes to mind.....I got the wine,shallots, mushrooms and bacon....GIVE ME THE ROOSTERS!

Leprechaunking13 11 years, 2 months ago

The pranks are most definitely not one sided, though they seem that way this year. LFHS often has stolen LHS property, my senior year FS stole Chainsaw Chesty(a 4.5 foot wooden statue of Chesty) and burned it in a bonfire! Although LHS had stolen FS only State Championship trophy of the time, never to be returned.

auturgy 11 years, 2 months ago

Well, I'll tell you that the entire time I was in high school, I don't remember a single incident that involved FS pranking LHS. I do remember LHS students cutting down saplings at FS and other destructive things. I'm curious, Leprechaunking13, to know when you graduated, because I don't remember the Chesty Lion incident...

kvintage 11 years, 2 months ago

I go to Free State and I happened to see the roosters chained to the tree. The legs were bound together by a chain, with a small lock around it. That same chain was tightly bound to a tree, with another lock. What was done to the roosters is nothing but cruelty. Who cares what kind of spray paint was used. What was done was inhumane. Yes I do eat chicken from time to time, (i use to be a vegetarian) and you may call me a hypocrite, but that does not change the severity of the situation. By having everyone spilling their opinions on this message board will not change what has happend, and what can happen. Obviously the teenagers who did this have no morals. I would be ashamed if I had a daughter or son who would want to play a foolish antic. For what cause? Has this incident forever changed the lives of FS? No. If LHS students did commit this crime, they havent damaged FS at all. There was no gain, but indeed shame. Free State still stands strong. The only valuable lesson that we learned was that there are cruel humans out there who have poor judgement. They should be ashamed of themselves. Who finds this prank funny? Yes I do understand that this is highschool and its common for competing high schools to play pranks on eachother, but shouldnt there be a fine line somewhere? To what extent should these pranks be allowed?

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