By Mindy Ragan Wood
Piedmont’s graduation ceremony turned sour after a prank may have gone too far.
The Class of 2018 took their moment on the stage to shake hands with their principal
Trinity Johnson but also to pass him a little gift as a joke, bacon-flavored dog treats.
“I saw them handing him (Johnson) something but I wasn’t sure what it was,” Piedmont Board of Education member Greg Duffy said. “He was putting it into a box.”
Johnson reportedly does not like the taste of bacon, but the inside joke did not appear to be well tolerated after a student poured a handful of the treats over Johnson’s head.
The student was reportedly pulled aside by a police officer or private security officer at the State Fair Arena. Event security was provided by off-duty deputies from the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department. However, sheriff’s department spokesman Mark Opgrande said Wednesday no report on the bacon throwing incident was filed by any of the off-duty deputies.
Facebook users erupted online saying the teen went too far and that an assault charge should be filed.
Danny Jackson supported Johnson in the battle with the student.
“Just saw the picture,” he wrote. “That is not okay and if you don’t see the problem you’re part of the problem. Whatever you think of this guy that is blatant disrespect for the man, position and the institution. I would, if possible, keep this kid from getting his diploma.”
However, Brenda Schlomach had a different viewpoint.
“He (student) took it too far, for sure, but it was a joke and nobody was hurt and no property was damaged. It’s just a prank. Get over yourself and get on with life. Have a sense of humor,” she wrote.
When the subject of formal criminal charges was brought up by Facebook writers Lauren Boatman showed her support for the student.
“It is disrespectful, but pressing charges? His (Johnson’s) feelings were hurt that badly? Ruin this kid over bacon strips?” she wrote.
Julie Riggs opined that graduation ceremonies should be more formal without jokes or hijinks.
“Graduation ceremonies are not the time or place for pranks,” she wrote.
Oklahoma City Police Department spokesman Gary Knight said a police report or complaint had not been filed with that agency, either.
It was unclear whether a statement had been issued from the school district to parents, but Duffy said he had not received any notice from the district about the matter. Board of Education Vice President Jerrod Moser said he was aware of the incident, but “I have not been notified of any actions taken or not taken about this,” he said Tuesday.
Requests for comment from Superintendent James White and Johnson were not provided at press time.