An immature prank perpetrated by a high-school student could lead to a possible felony charge after the girl changed a classmate’s name in a yearbook to a sexually suggestive term before the books were printed.
The 17-year-old junior at Hickman High School in Columbia, Mo., was arrested May 14 for allegedly changing a last name from Mastain to "masturbate" in the 100th edition of the Hickman Cresset yearbook.
She faces charges of first-degree property damage and harassment, according to The Associated Press.
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Assistant Boone County prosecutor Spencer Bartlett told the AP earlier this week that no charges have been filed, and the case remains under review.
The school’s yearbook adviser, Kim Acopolis, and the girl whose name was changed, Raigan Mastain, feel the student was merely immature, rather than malicious.
"I hardly knew her at all," Mastain, who graduated from Hickman last week, told the Columbia Daily Tribune. "I barely worked with her. We weren't friends, but I didn't think I had any problems with her."
Acopolis added: "I do not think [she] had any sense of the consequences that would come.”
Rather than reprint 720 yearbooks at an estimated cost of $41,000, the school affixed stickers over the student's incorrect surname, Acopolis said.
Beyond the possible felony charges, the student also faces unspecified school punishment, Hickman Principal Tracey Conrad told the Columbia Daily Tribune. (One likely punishment: not being allowed to work on next spring’s yearbook).
Mastain, a student government leader who also worked on the school paper, said she noticed her altered name only after receiving a friend’s text. While surprised by the possible criminal charge, she applauds the school's no-nonsense position.
"At some point, when someone makes a mistake, there needs to be a consequence," Mastain told the paper. "I do think it's appropriate. It's bullying. The property damage is an enormous amount of money. It's not to be taken lightly."
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