Water Balloon Fight Gets East Rockaway High School Students Banned From Graduation, Prom

Infuriated Kids, Parents Say Administration's Punishment Hardly Fits The Crime

EAST ROCKAWAY, NY (CBSNewYork) — Some Long Island high school students are paying a hefty price for their end-of-year hijinks.

The school principal, assistant principal and a crossing guard were among those hit by water balloons during the annual water balloon battle outside East Rockaway High School.

Now, a group of seniors who participated have been banned from this week’s graduation ceremony and the prom.  Some parents think the punishment is extreme.

“Gone through four years of high school and then they made one mistake. I mean I think it’s a little bit too far. I mean, these kids, they were having fun,” one father said.

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs In Nassau County

“Kids are kids. You know, to ban them from graduation, I think is ridiculous,” another father said.

Both believe community service would be a more appropriate punishment.

Melissa Erul was one of a group of seniors who won’t attend graduation.

“I’m just so upset. None of my family’s gonna be able to see me,” Erul told CBS 2’s Scott Rapoport.

“I didn’t even throw a water balloon and I’m being penalized,” Mike Castellano said.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports: Water Balloon Fight Gets Out Of Hand

Anthony Gallegro said he is one of 20 seniors paying for the actions of two students — one who doesn’t attend the school — because they threw balloons at the administration officials.

“Because of two bad seeds in the bunch we’re all going down for it,” Gallegro told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera.

“They’re acting like it was so much worse than it was,” Billy Day added.

To make matters worse, the banned balloon brawlers said they’ve also been barred from their prom. The students’ parents are livid.

“To take them out of graduation I think is horrible,” Lori De Stefani said.

The school superintendent said the students were warned ahead of time of the penalties and chose to have the water balloon fight anyway. Dr. Rosanne C. Melucci said in a statement: “The actions of these students created a disorderly and unsafe situation by obstructing vehicular and pedestrian traffic.”

But for the banned students that rings hollow.

“I can’t go to the prom or graduate. I think that’s a little extreme,” Ryan Starkman said.

Many of the kids Rapoport spoke with said the balloon fight is an annual thing that’s gone on for years — and that they’ve never been penalized for it.

Do you think these students went too far or is the administration totally overreacting? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Comments

One Comment

  1. Joyce Munzer nee Brown says:

    Joyce class of 1974- so finished off my senior year in England where pub crawls and social activism were par for the course. But, of course I attended ERHS and I think everyone looked the other way when we were just growing up and spreading our wings! Here ( in Northern California) my children all attended a small high school and these acts of rebellion were anticipated by the administration, Sometimes things went a bit too far, but everyone walked for graduation We have a high success rate here because of parents & the community who support f our kids! Hello to the class of 1974! Would like to hear from you : ) j.munzer@comcast.net P.S hello Omicron Delta!

  2. Joyce Munzer nee Brown 74 says:

    Joyce class of 1974- so finished off my senior year in England where pub crawls and social activism were par for the course. But, of course I attended ERHS and I think everyone looked the other way when we were just growing up and spreading our wings! Here ( in Northern California) my children all attended a small high school and these acts of rebellion were anticipated by the administration, Sometimes things went a bit too far, but everyone walked for graduation We have a high success rate here because of! parents & the community support of our kids! Hello to the class 0f 2004! Would like to hear from you🙂

  3. Linda Handy says:

    If an “authority” told you to go jump in the river, would you do it? There are NO authorities. Did the school EMPLOYEES ask parents for permission BEFORE they declared their rules. Parents pay school EMPLOYEES with taxes and parents must give their permission to school EMPLOYEES to before any declaration is given. The school BELONG to everyone; not to just the “employees at the school.” NOBODY is an AUTHORITY.

  4. Tj says:

    I think the parents / parent of these wanna be wise guys/wiggas should be stoned a long side of them ( THEY WERE WARNED NOT TO DO IT) So called parents today do not have a clue on raising kids nor do they want to so it seems.parents are affraid to say no and punish them accordingly “here have another $100.00 go away”.Parents for the most part do not know what there kids are even doing out there any more.The higher the status the less they are involved !!!!

  5. Ray says:

    Just out of curiosity?

    Did the students get to walk across the stage?

    There is a lesson to be learned from this; The next time someone yells “Water Balloon Fight”, “DUCK or RUN”

  6. Pamela Mitchell says:

    THE ERHS WATER BALLOON WAR!

    Dear Folks,

    I have had the privelege of knowing some of these students. The ones I do know are VERY respectful, polite, responsible, appreciative, fun – in other words GREAT KIDS. The ER school administration needs to put things in perspective; they are over-reacting to an event that caused no harm to anyone. Come on folks, it’s just water!

    These kids have earned a proper graduation ceremony – no one should take this away from them.

    I hope to see all of them at this evening’s East Rockaway High School Class of 2011 Graduation. Congratulations to all Graduates!

    Pamela Mitchell/Parent

  7. Babygirl51 says:

    I’m sure they will find something to do like throw balloons at there Family members Mom Dad Grandmom Granddad dog cat or they can sale drugs or just commit a crime they know what to do after all what they did was wrong they need a lesson in RESPECT.

  8. j.mayer says:

    I owened and embaressed that clown Deto haha

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