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Montpelier High graduate repays cost of prank 25 years later

May 19, 2019

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A high school prankster who damaged school property in Vermont is finally paying the price — and then some — just in time for his 25th reunion.

As a Montpelier High School senior, Michael Burzycki painted and stitched together tarps to create a 60-by-16-foot banner that read “LIVE LONG AND PROSPER CLASS OF 1994.” He and a classmate lugged it up to the school’s roof and triumphantly hung it up outside the auditorium. But water bottles they used to weigh down the corners ended up breaking a window.

Principal Peter Clarke didn’t punish him. Instead he handed him a bill for $1,994, due at Burzycki’s 25th reunion.

“We love you and we’ll miss you,” Clarke told graduates. “And Michael, here’s your bill for the window.”

Burzycki told WPTZ-TV that he has the money to pay the bill, but wanted to do more, so he started a GoFundMe page for the school that had raised an additional $5,075 as of Sunday.

“I broke it, I bought it,” he said. “That’s the way it should work.”

In his fundraising pitch, Burzycki described himself as a quiet kid who usually went unnoticed.

“Over my high school years I had a developed a reputation for being studious, responsible, and diligent - a true Breakfast-Club-Anthony-Michael-Hall-type,” he wrote. “But late in my senior year I decided to test the limits of what I could get away with because, quite frankly, I knew that no one expected it of me.”

He told WPTZ-TV he wouldn’t pull such a prank today, but offered advice to today’s students, telling them to recognize their actions have consequences.

“Take risks, but take smart risks,” he said.

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Information from: WPTZ-TV, http://www.thechamplainchannel.com

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