High School Prank Causes Damage At Tullahoma High's Stadium

Posted at 6:06 PM, Aug 21, 2015

TULLAHOMA, Tenn. - Students and faculty arrived at Tullahoma High School Friday morning to find the football stadium had been vandalized with graffiti during the overnight hours.

"It is pretty much all over the place, and it's very vulgar," said resident Kim McGehee, who walked the stadium's track Friday afternoon.

The black spray painted graffiti could be seen on both sides of the stadium. 

"Quite frankly, I was shocked to see the physical damage to extensive, and expensive, property," said Tullahoma City Schools Director Dan Lawson.

Much of the vandalism was obscene and had to do with Tullahoma's rivalry with Coffee County High School. Friday marked the 90th anniversary of the Coffee Pot Bowl, where the two schools battle each on the football field.

"This crosses a line, pretty dramatically. And this crosses a line that we want to send an explicit and clear message, this is not tolerable in Coffee County, this is not tolerable in Tullahoma, we're going to fix it," Lawson said.

According to Lawson the superintendent from Coffee County Schools called him Friday morning to extend her apologies, and offer any help she could.

Last year students found a dead bobcat hanging from the Tullahoma goal post. The school's mascot is the Wildcat. A 16-year-old Coffee County High School student was charged with killing a bobcat out of season.

The year before that, in 2013, Coffee County students turned off the stadium lights during the Tullahoma band's performance during the Coffee Pot Bowl.

"I think there are some real challenges of what's appropriate, what's reasonable, what's criminal, versus what's fun," Lawson explained.

Most everyone in Tullahoma understood the vandalism was the work of a few people, and not a reflection on the entire Coffee County High student body.

"This is not indicative of all Coffee County students. It's a shame, it's a black eye on their school, I'm afraid, and their team, but it's not indicative of all their students," McGehee said.

The Tullahoma resident hoped the Tullahoma football team will turn this negative, into a positive.

"Like the Bible says, what some mean for evil, God means for good. Maybe this will be the push our team needed to pump us up and put us over the top at the end of the night," McGehee said.

Friday afternoon Tullahoma Police identified three juveniles who were said to have confessed to the vandalism. They were given petition to appear in court. Police said there may be other people involved in the crime.