About 50 parents, students and other community supporters are at the Keller school district administration building Friday protesting officials' decision to ban some students participating in graduation ceremonies following a food fight that got out of control.
On May 25, police were called to Keller Central High School to break up a food fight. That same day police responded calls at Timber Creek High School where students released rats, crickets, snakes and birds and had thrown stink bombs and balloons filled with baby oil.
Ten seniors from Central High and four at Timber Creek High were prohibited from participating in Saturday's graduation ceremonies because of pranks at the school.
Today's protesters were largely from Central High, including senior Martin Alvarez, one of those banned at Central. He denies he participated in the food fight but said a teacher told officials he did. Alvarez said he was standing near a big group of students at the time.
"There's no video evidence, no proof of any of that," Alvarez said. "I was just standing back observing trying to dodge it all."
Keller officials issued a statement Friday saying that so far, two families have officially filed an appeal with central administrators asking that the punishment be reversed. However, the soonest those appeals could be heard is Monday, after the graduation. Officials said that timeline has been explained to the families involved and their supporters.
School officials said in a release earlier this week that the students "created an unsafe environment through reckless disregard for the safety of other students, and were witnessed by campus staff or administrators doing so."
Vidi Martinez, whose son Jesse Garcia was banned from Central's graduation, said her son denies participating in the food fight. She said he was watching the events unfold with no video evidence of his participation either.
"He's being accused of doing something he didn't do," she said.