Stick a Fork In It… It’s Done

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Filed under: High School Pranks, Practical Jokes and Mischief

Prank’s result not so funny
The Shelby News
May 17, 2008

MHS seniors arrested after alleged criminal mischief against teacher

fork.jpgFive Morristown High School seniors are being charged with criminal mischief and trespassing that allegedly occurred nearly two months ago at the Shelbyville home of one of their teachers.

According to police arrest reports, Robert D. Hart, Kodie D. Jenkins, Christopher L. Meador, Gregory P. Schmith II and Matthew R. Worton, all age 18 with Morristown addresses, were taken into custody Tuesday afternoon.

Four of the students were arrested at the high school, and a fifth was taken into custody at Blue River Career Center. A police van was used to pick up the students at the schools and transport them to jail.

They were taken to the Shelby County Criminal Justice Center and booked on charges of criminal trespassing and criminal mischief, both misdemeanors, and released after posting $100 bonds.

The student arrests were a result of a “yard forking” incident that allegedly took place late in the evening of March 20. According to local law enforcement authorities, yard forking is a prank in which hundreds of plastic forks are stuck into a victim’s yard, handles down and tines sticking up. Sometimes they are broken off at ground level, leaving the sharp, pointed and jagged handles barely sticking out of the ground. The prank involves watching the victim perform the tedious chore of removing them from the ground.

Around midnight on March 20, city police responded to a report of a suspicious person near the intersection of South Harrison Street and Van Avenue. When Shelbyville patrolman David Hoff arrived, he saw several young males run and jump into a van.

“I asked them what they were doing, and they said they were forking the yard of one of their Morristown High School teachers,” Hoff said in his report. “They said they were just pranking her.”

According to the officer, he and the boys then walked to a nearby residence in the 600 block of Van Avenue, where he discovered hundreds of forks stuck in the ground all over the front yard of a residence belonging to an art teacher at both Waldron and Morristown high schools.

“I contacted the teacher at the residence and told her what happened,” Hoff said. “She said that she knew the boys from school and at least three of them – Schmith, Jenkins and Hart – had caused her numerous problems in the past. She reported all the other problems to school officials and said she would get a copy of the police report of this incident and forward it to school officials.”

Hoff then ordered the young men to pick up the forks and to stay away from the teacher’s residence.

According to Shelbyville Police Chief Bill Elliott, it is not unusual for warrants to be served weeks and even months after an incident.

“The sheriff’s department probably has warrants that are still active after 10 years or more,” he said.

When asked about the alleged criminal mischief, the teacher declined comment, saying only that the yard forking was part of an ongoing series of incidents involving the same students.

“It would be inappropriate to say anything about it at this time,” she said.

Mike Brown, principal at Morristown High School, was quick to point out that the alleged incident had “absolutely nothing to do with Morristown Junior-Senior High School.”

“This is a civil matter, clearly unrelated to the school,” he said. “It’s important to remember that what might seem like fun for one person may not be interpreted the same way when looked at through the lens of the person it’s happening to.”

According to Elliott, yard forking is not a common problem in Shelbyville. He believes the central issue involved in this incident might have been ongoing harassment and not the prank itself.

“Kids are pretty creative anymore,” he said. “It’s a shame they don’t all use their creative thinking in the classroom.”

photo: Flickr

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