Downgraded Charges for High School Pranksters

Wednesday, May 21, 2014  |  Updated 4:54 PM EDT
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Downgraded Charges for High School Pranksters

AP

The top prosecutor in the northern New Jersey county where dozens of students were arrested after being accused of pulling a senior class prank says he's downgrading charges against most of them.

The 63 students had faced burglary and criminal mischief charges stemming from the May 1 incident at Teaneck High School. Authorities have said police who responded to a burglar alarm there found the school vandalized.

But Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli announced Wednesday that 24 students who are 18 or older will instead face disorderly person offenses of criminal trespass and criminal mischief. Those charges will be heard in municipal court.
 
Nearly all of the other students will be eligible for an alternative program that offers a chance to avoid a permanent record.
 
The school's superintendent has said the incident was exaggerated in the media.
 

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