GALLUP, N.M. (KRQE) – A judge has decided the students kicked out of a New Mexico school for a senior prank that went too far, must be allowed back in the classroom. An attorney working with some of the families involved says the students never got a hearing with the district — and a judge agreed.

Lucas Babycos is the attorney for four of the suspended students. He said, “The overall goal is to get the kids back in school. They only have a month or so left of school and they’re off to college and to start the rest of their lives.”

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On April 1st, several students from Gallup High School pulled a senior prank at the school. Parents shared pictures that showed some of what the students did and claimed the vandalism only involved toilet paper and confetti. But the school district claims there is more damage than meets the eye. The school says damage to the floor was done by students pushing vending machines.

In that same press release, the district estimates damages at more than $30,000. But the Gallup police report states “no items have been identified as broken but more as trashed.” Yesterday, a Mckinley County judge ruled the district must let the students return to class, and provide a formal hearing before they’re suspended. 

Babycos explains, “One of my clients did message me this morning and asked if they could go to school. I said go ahead and try to go to school and bring the order with you. And they did message me back saying their student was allowed back into school so I’m hoping we can put all this behind us at this time.”

A court hearing is set for Monday April 25th for the district to argue the suspensions were done in a fair manner. Gallup Police tell us they will not be pursuing charges for the break-in or damage — instead letting the district handle the discipline for the students.

We reached out to school district leaders for comment on the case but were told they won’t comment on active legal cases.