Homecoming is right around the corner for many local high schools, and traditions could find fans and members of rival football teams pulling pranks on each other.
However, Bulloch County Sheriff Noel Brown warns area teens and their parents that anyone caught vandalizing or trespassing on private property could be criminally charged.
While Southeast Bulloch High School had its homecoming football game last week, Statesboro and Portal high schools will host their homecoming games and events this Friday.
Traditionally, some teens will drape trees with toilet paper, which can be unwelcome, but others in the past “have taken things too far” and caused property damage when pulling pranks, he said.
“It's that time of the year again. High school football is in full swing, and with that comes homecoming festivities,” he said, asking parents to “talk with their high-school-age kids about these festivities and remind them to be responsible in their actions and respect the property of others.”
Vandalism is a crime, and even simply trespassing on someone else’s property can lead to charges, he said.
“When these festivities cross the line, they become criminal trespass … or criminal damage to property and are prosecutable offenses. If we are called on by citizens to these calls, we will treat them according to Georgia law,” he said.
Most pranks are meant to be fun, but the recipients may not appreciate the joke, especially if property is damaged or altered. Some homes within the county have already been targeted, he said.
“Kids, enjoy your homecomings, dances and crownings, but please be responsible in your actions,” he said.
A trip to jail and future fines and court hearings could dampen the good memories of the high school experiences, Brown said.
Anyone noticing suspicious activity is asked to report it to their local authorities. The Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office may be reached at (912) 764-8888.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.