WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - It’s a tradition that’s over 50 years old, in Wichita falls the rivalry between Rider and Wichita Falls “Old” High goes back generations. But while it’s supposed to be lighthearted, each year some students are taking it too far.
Pranks, eggings, and vandalism happen during the Rider Old High week and the Wichita Falls Police Department wants to remind students that their actions have serious consequences
“If you’re from Wichita falls you know Rider Old High Week, you know about the competition between those two schools,” Ashley Thomas, Communication Officer for Wichita Falls ISD said. “Several years ago, it had gotten really out of hand, but we have really tried to step up security at both campuses.” Police are aware of the vandalism and are working with the district to keep everyone safe.
“We want you to have fun, a lot of tradition is behind it and we can respect that, however, don’t be a knucklehead don’t damage people’s property,” Sgt. Harold McClure with the Wichita Falls Police Department said.
Sgt. McClure added that the department sees a spike in criminal activity during Rider Old High Week, similar to what they see in the weeks leading up to holidays such as Halloween or Christmas. Officers are prepared for this jump in activity.
“They know what time it is, they know what’s going on this week and so they are a little more vigilant and keeping their eyes open for anybody messing around the high schools or any of the neighborhoods,” Sgt. McClure said.
Ashley Thomas says they want students to just take part in this long standing tradition, in a safe way.
“Enjoy the competition between the two schools but not to let it get out of hand and do anything that’s going to hurt other students or to cause damage on school property or other people’s property,” Thomas said said.
Vandalism is considered criminal mischief in the state of Texas, A charge that can range from a class c misdemeanor to a felony, Depending on the severity of the act.