Heather Navarro

Memorial Dedicated to Dead Students Cut Down in Prank, Students Say

A tree planted in memorial to students who had died was cut down in what some are calling a senior prank gone too far in Valencia Tuesday.

Three Valencia High School trees, one of which had a plaque dedicated to fallen students past present and future, were chopped in an act caught on camera in the night.

The memorial tree had been there since 1999.

A plaque next to a tree dedicated to fallen students was chopped down in an apparent senior prank at Valencia High School Tuesday, May 15, 2018.

Students and staff at Valencia High School say the prank has gone too far.

School officials said it's extremely sad to know someone would do such a damaging and disrespectful act. But they're hoping students will be able to view the video and help to catch them.

"I would hope they didn't know and didn't mean any harm but if they did know, wow, that's really not cool," said sophomore Haley Sealander.

The school says the trees were cut down Monday night and that security video shows four young adults were the culprits. Students we spoke with say this is normally the time of year of the senior prank. But if this was that, students say, it's not a good one.

"It's really awful. I mean just cutting down trees in general -- what's the purpose in that? Especially the dedication tree. That's not OK," said sophomore Deborah Shlager .

"A lot of people even seniors were saying it's not even funny -- more of a vandalism, you know?" freshman Evan Tobin said.

School officials are asking students who may have heard about the incident, or who may know who the culprits are, to report it to this email, VHStip@HartDistrict.org.

William Hart Union High School District issued a statement saying it is unfortunate that someone has chosen to commit a malicious act against Valencia High, and in particular the memorial garden that honors graduates who have passed away.

The school says it's also working with the LA County Sheriff's Department to possibly pursue criminal charges.

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