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Student suspended, banned from extracurricular activities after prank

HILLIARD, Ohio -- A high school student who tricked football fans from a crosstown rival into holding up signs that together spelled out, "We Suck," was suspended and banned temporarily from extracurricular activities for the prank, according to the school's principal.

Kyle Garchar, a senior at Hilliard Davidson High School in suburban Columbus, said he spent about 20 hours over three days plotting the trick, which was captured on video and posted on the video-sharing Web site YouTube. He said he was inspired by a similar prank pulled by Yale students in 2004, when Harvard fans were duped into holding up cards with the same message.

Davidson Principal John Bandow had told students that he
expected them to show sportsmanship at the game, which Darby won
21-10.

Bandow gave Garchar and two students who helped him three days
of in-school suspension and banned them from extracurricular
activities for a semester, the students said. Two Darby students who helped Garchar received the same punishment after the principals from both schools spoke by
phone.

Hilliard schools spokeswoman Michelle Wray said she couldn't
confirm the punishment because the Federal Education Rights and
Privacy Act forbids the release of student disciplinary
information.

"We weren't expecting it to be such a severe punishment," said
Jen Trimmer, 17, one of the students involved. "We just thought it
was all in good fun."

At the end of the video, Garchar wryly thanks the 800 Hilliard
Darby High School supporters who raised the cards at the start of
the third quarter during last Friday's football game.

"It couldn't have been done without you," reads the closing
frame of the video.

Garchar, 17, created a grid to plan how the message would be
spelled out once fans in three sections held up either a black or
white piece of construction paper.

Directions left on stadium seats instructed fans to check that
the number listed on their papers matched their seat numbers. Darby
supporters were told the message would read "Go Darby."

"It was tedious," Garchar said. "I didn't really think it was
going to work."

But it did, and everyone at Davidson has been talking it ever
since, said Jordan Moore, a junior.

"That was the ultimate in-your-face," he said. "I think it
was ingenious."