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Charges To Be Downgraded For Teaneck High School Pranksters

Police say dozens of students were arrested after a senior prank at Teaneck High School on Thursday, May 1, 2014. (credit: CBS 2)

Police say dozens of students were arrested after a senior prank at Teaneck High School on Thursday, May 1, 2014. (credit: CBS 2)

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TEANECK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Bergen County prosecutor said he will be downgrading charges for dozens of Teaneck High School students who were arrested during a senior prank at the school earlier this month.

Sixty-two students were rounded up and arrested around 2:30 a.m. on May 1 after police were tipped off to the prank by a burglar alarm inside the school.

While those who were under 18 were released to their parents, those 18 and older were charged with burglary and criminal mischief.

Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said on Wednesday that the 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.

Following the incident police had called the damage to the school extensive, and said students had urinated on the walls.

Police said when officers arrived they found desks and chairs flipped over, graffiti on the walls, silly string on the floor and hot dogs taped to lockers.

“Numerous desks, chairs were dragged out into the hallways, you couldn’t make it through some of the hallways,” said Acting Police Chief Robert Carney said following the arrests. “The urine all over the hallways, the grease that was applied to the doors, there was a large amount of it.”

The school’s superintendent, however, has said the incident was exaggerated and that staff found no indication of urination.

Less than a week after the incident, a rally was held at Teaneck High School in support of those who were charged.

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)