SELDEN, N.Y. (AP) - Parents opened their mailboxes to find an official-looking letter offering birth control - and motel rooms - for the upcoming senior prom.
They were not amused - and neither, needless to say, were the stunned administrators of the Long Island high school.
"It's inexcusable, offensive and quite frankly demeaning of all individuals," Mitchell Ross, principal of the Newfield High School in Selden, said Friday in a telephone interview.
The letter, an apparent end-of-the-year prank, described a "Protection Package" of "very specific birth control items," including condoms, Ross said.
It also stated that "a number of rooms will be made available" for interested students at the Inn at East Wind in Wading River, where the prom is to be held June 23.
The hotel, which was notified of the prank, does not rent out rooms to high school students, said Ross.
The letter's official-looking letterhead actually was "cut and paste job," Ross said.
He said the school, which has about 400 seniors, has narrowed the list of likely culprits to 10 but believed only one or two students were involved.
"In order to pull off a prank like this, we believe it had to be an individual that's bright and who is familiar with the mailing system," the principal said.
Disciplinary action will be taken against the individual or individuals involved, said Ross. The hoax also "would involve police action" since mail fraud was committed, he said.
Ross said the mailing list used in the prank, first reported by Newsday in its Friday editions, apparently had been stolen from one of two student offices. The list had been missing since April, but officials at the time did not know if it was stolen or simply misplaced.
Ross said the prank letter envelopes were mixed in with other legitimate school bulk mailings.