New Prague High School

New Prague High School was closed on Friday due to a prank involving the release of several pigeons into the building over night. (Lori Nickel/News-Review)

The students responsible for a prank that closed New Prague High School on Friday have been identified, a statement from the school district said on Monday.

“Four of our NPHS students were responsible for the release of pigeons and are all being dealt with by our high school and district administration,” it stated. “The capture of all the pigeons that were released has been completed and clean up was done over the weekend. As a school, we are hoping that this will be a learning situation for all of our students that future pranks will not be tolerated and that there are serious consequences.”

The high school was closed on Friday when staff arrived to find several pigeons flying around inside the building and congregating near the skylight area over the locker banks. After conferring with administration, it was determined that the school was an unsafe environment for students and staff. As students arrived for classes, they were not allowed into the high school and were sent directly to the community and gymnastics centers across the street instead. That is where they remained while the situation was assessed.

By 8:45 a.m. Friday, the decision was made to cancel the school day for students as animal control professionals were called in to capture the birds.

As the students left the grounds and cars lined up to leave the parking lot, a group of students said that they had been in the building earlier that morning around 6 a.m. to play basketball. They said they were probably the first to see what was going on.

“Birds were flying around and there was bread left on the floor for them,” one said.

“And a lot of droppings,” another added. They said they heard there was also a rooster roaming around.

School staff was eventually allowed into areas of the building. For students and staff, the day became a digital learning day.

Lori Nickel is the publisher and editor of the Lonsdale News-Review. Reach her at 507-744-2551.

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