A seemingly innocent high-school prank could mean jail time for a student tempering with a high-school yearbook.
17-year-old Kaitlyn Booth of Columbia, Missouri was working on editing the senior yearbook when she decided to change one student's name into a phrase that would ridicule her.
According to the Columbia Daily Tribune
, that meant a reprinting cost of $41,000 (€31.400) for the school, for 720 albums.
Officials decided to place stickers with the student's name on the yearbook instead, but Booth was charged with harassing her classmate as well as first-degree property damage, which is a felony.
"Cost was the biggest factor. [...] We didn't know how much it was going to cost to rectify the situation. It was defacing property," says Tracey Conrad, principal at Hickman High School.
"The yearbook staff worked diligently to retrieve the ones that had been handed out and to put the stickers over the pages of the yearbooks that were yet to be handed out," she adds. It took 12 hours for staff working together to fix the error.
Raigan Mastain, the victim of the prank, is also concerned about all the work put in the yearbooks and how this incident will forever be tied to her class' graduation.
"I was kind of annoyed. It was stupid, but I wasn't that upset. I understand the legality but I was definitely pretty shocked. [...] When you're in high school, you do stuff that is not necessarily the smartest, and this was an example of that," she comments on the incident.
Nevertheless, she does not support Booth getting convicted and having a prank get her jail time. She has also been reprimanded in school.
"What she did wasn't right, but I don't think it should affect her for the rest of her life," she said.