Make culprits replant trees

Two teenagers, Kurtis Callen and Vincent A. Scott, seniors at Gloversville High School, were charged with crimes related to the cutting down of 17 trees in front of the high school campus last week. Police say they have video-surveillance evidence that shows Callen cutting down the trees and Scott acting as a lookout.

It will be up to the court system to decide the fates of Cullen and Scott, but if they are convicted, part of their punishment should be a requirement they pay for the replacement of the trees and replant the trees themselves.

Even if this isn’t part of the sentence, we would hope, if the offenders want to show any kind of remorse, they at least would offer to buy and replant the trees.

The cutting of the trees was a crime, not a prank, even if those responsible may have thought of their actions as a “senior prank.” Some of the trees cut down were planted as memorials to the deceased, and others were gifts from previous senior classes. Luckily, no one was hurt in the commitment of this crime, and the trees can be replaced.

Unfortunately, senior pranks have become too common at local schools. Our schools should forbid them and crack down on offenders. What may start as an innocent prank easily could turn into something sinister.

We hope the punishment in the tree-cutting case serves as a lesson and warning to other high school students who think they may want to vandalize their school.