David Edmond Says He Was Left Gasping For Air, Did Nothing To Warrant Punishment

MIDDLE ISLAND, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A senior prank at a Long Island high school went horribly wrong, and a high school student ended up getting barred from the graduation and prom.

But as CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, the young man who got in trouble has cellphone video proves he is the actually the victim.

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David Edmond, 18, was home this week fixing up a go-cart engine – wishing he were in school with his classmates. But he was home on suspension the day after the senior prank – a game of freewheeling outdoor tag – backfired.

“I won’t be in school for the next five days — that’s how it goes,” Edmond said. “I did nothing wrong to be getting suspended, and no graduation, prom — all that stuff.”

Edmond’s ban from Longwood High School was spurred by cellphone video that was supplied to CBS2 by his schoolmates. It shows a melee in the hallway when seniors returned from the tag game.

Edmond said he was thrown to the ground by a security guard and restrained with such force that he could not breathe.

A teacher had to intervene.

“It was just too much of a chokehold, to the point where I was just like gasping for air,” Edmond said. “The only thing I could possibly get out is just to get them off me.”

The next thing Edmond remembers, he was being escorted to the office and then kicked out of school.

The high school lacrosse player called the suspension an overreaction to a great morning of camaraderie and tradition.

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“Just tag, you know – just fun we do for seniors. You know, we thought it would be a little fun; last time we would all be together like that. You know, I mean, it’s one of our second last week of school. We’re just trying to enjoy ourselves — our senior class,” he said.

Students and parents want to know what happened.

“I just want it investigated more,” one student said.

“I think the security guard could have handled it in a better way,” another said.

School officials declined to speak in person, but through a statement explained that seniors had been warned not to leave campus. The school district said those involved in the prank were disobedient and disruptive to the student body.

“(S)tudents took a senior prank too far… a disturbance ensued after students were insubordinate and uncooperative,” said the statement from Longwood schools Supt. Dr. Michael Lonergan.

The school said safety is the number one priority. It has hallway and campus surveillance video of the entire episode and is now launching an investigation.

Edmond believes he is the victim of overzealous security, and is shattered that he cannot attend prom or graduate with the rest of the seniors.

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Edmond also hopes to be given the chance to appeal the punishment.