Ola High students: Food fight penalty too stiff

Posted: Updated:
Cell phone photos show the aftermath of the food fight at Ola High School. Cell phone photos show the aftermath of the food fight at Ola High School.

Several Henry County students were expelled Wednesday for the remainder of the school year for their involvement in a food fight. More suspensions could follow Thursday and Friday.

Students said the food fight in the cafeteria at Ola High School in McDonough was part of a senior prank. It happened during Career Day on Feb. 1.

At least three students named in the incident were expelled for the remainder of the school year during hearings that started on Wednesday.

The students and their parents said the punishment doesn't fit the crime.

Student Mitchell Daniel told CBS Atlanta News he wasn't expecting the food fight since the principal had warned against it. He said he was on his way to a career booth when he was pelted with chocolate milk. "It hit me from the side and I did not see it coming. It upset me and I didn't know what to do to react. So I retaliated by grabbing someone's chicken sandwich and throwing it."

Many of the students who were expelled are honors students.

David Daniel, a parent, told CBS Atlanta News the punishment is too stiff. "He got the same offense as if he brought a gun to school or if he brought drugs or alcohol to school."

Following the incident, nine students were arrested. Those who were 17 and older said they were taken to the Henry County Jail.

"I was in jail with people there for battery and theft by taking," said Devin Graziani.

Attorney Gil Maxwell represents Graziani and his parents.

He told CBS Atlanta News he was able to view the school's video one hour before the hearing. He said it showed mayhem all over the cafeteria.

"It's been rubber stamp justice," said Maxwell. "They want to make a point because they had a job fair that day at the school. School administrators were embarrassed."

The remaining hearings are scheduled to take place on Thursday and Friday.

Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.