Dead raccoons hung outside Gibbs High School in senior prank

Dead raccoons hung outside Gibbs High School in senior prank

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One of the animals was hung from the school's flagpole. (Source: Alexi Eidam via Instagram) One of the animals was hung from the school's flagpole. (Source: Alexi Eidam via Instagram)
"I don't know why people would do that, just because why would you want to touch a dead raccoon? And it would smell," said Gibbs seniors Darian Massengill and Makayla Girard. "I don't know why people would do that, just because why would you want to touch a dead raccoon? And it would smell," said Gibbs seniors Darian Massengill and Makayla Girard.

By JESSA LEWIS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Students and teachers at Gibbs High School got a nasty surprise when they arrived at school Wednesday.

As part of an alleged senior prank, students are said to have hung a total of seven animals - four raccoons, two possums and a turtle - by their hind legs around the outside of the school.

Knox County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Martha Dooley said the animals appeared to be roadkill that had been dead for some time.

"I was really surprised. I never would have thought about hanging dead animals up outside the school or anything like that," said Gibbs senior Drew Stapleton.

The animals could be seen hanging from the flagpole and trees outside the school building.

"I was taking my daughter and her friend to school and I pulled up in the circle and the first thing I noticed was a raccoon hanging from the tree. Dead raccoon hanging from the tree," said Gibbs High parent Jennifer Graves.

All of the animals were taken to an animal shelter and could be tested for rabies.

The pranksters also painted obscene graffiti and other markings on the grass with red paint.

Knox County Schools, the Knox County Sheriff's Office and animal control officials are all investigating the prank.

"Appropriate disciplinary action will be administered by policy accordingly," said Gibbs High School Principal Lynn Hill.

6 News spoke with several Gibbs seniors following the incident, and each of them told us they don't know who is responsible.

"I don't know why people would do that, just because why would you want to touch a dead raccoon? And it would smell," said Gibbs seniors Darian Massengill and Makayla Girard.

Students say they were questioned about the incident at graduation practice, but that no one admitted to being involved.

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