by: Tom Regan Updated:
MCDONOUGH, Ga. - Nine students have been charged, and face additional punishment at school, in a Henry County high school food fight.
Ola High School students went before a school tribunal, which determined punishment, including expulsion.
Delvin Graziani, a junior, was expelled for the rest of the school year earlier this week, following his arrest Feb. 1 for participating in the food fight. Nine students were taken into custody, five of whom were charged as adults. The charges include inciting a riot and disruption of school.
"I don't think the crime fits the punishment," said Graziani.
The 17-year-old told Channel 2's Tom Regan that he joined in the food fight after he was hit.
"I was hit multiple times before I even threw anything," said Graziani.
He admitted throwing a small milk carton.
"Obviously, we deserved to get punished. We did something wrong, but maybe suspension for a couple of days, something like that, or making us clean it up would have been better," said Graziani.
School officials became aware of the potential disruption last week and warned all students not to go ahead with the food fight. Students said it was organized by senior students as a prank. It happened during lunchtime on Feb. 1.
"One girl threw something, and the whole lunchroom erupted, everyone throwing food everywhere," said Graiziani.
His father, Mike, said his son is an honor student and has never before been in trouble at school.
"We understand the school’s got to keep credibility. We told you not to do it. You did. Shame on you, this is your punishment. But who ever thought they would be arrested for a food fight?” said Mike Graziani.
Henry County Schools sent a statement on the incident:
"In any case where the safety of students has been compromised and the productivity of the learning environment has been compromised, we take appropriate action to protect students and preserve and effective place for learning."