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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, May 31, 2010

11 Pāhoa students suspended for graffiti infractions

Advertiser Staff

Eleven Pāhoa Intermediate students were suspended on the last day of school after preparations for a game of hopscotch escalated into graffiti, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported.

The students began by drawing hopscotch boxes on the sidewalk with chalk, Principal Dean Cevallos told the newspaper, but the writing soon made its way onto various walls on two floors of the building.

While no lasting damage was done, Cevallos said it was important to convey to his students that what they had done was not acceptable. They were given 10 days of suspension, to be observed once classes begin again in August.

That decision riled some parents, who said that their children have missed enough school due to furlough Fridays.

Cevallos said he would be amenable to allowing the students to come during the summer to perform campus beautification projects.

"The most important thing to me is to have these kids back in school. If they elect to do so, they could come in a couple hours a day to work off their suspension," he said.

Cevallos said the students spent about an hour Tuesday cleaning the walls and walkway of their handiwork.

"I think they thought this was funny, and that they might get away with it, since it was the last day of school," he said. "I don't think they understood. But as I explained to one student, 'If I came to your dad"s house, and I wrote all over your dad's walls, how do you think he would feel about it?' "