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11 students suspended for banana prank

ZION, Ill., April 23 (UPI) -- A Zion, Ill., high school has suspended 11 seniors involved in a prank that featured a student in a gorilla costume chasing banana-clad seniors in the hallways.

Zion-Benton Township High School handed seven-day suspensions to the costumed students, who phoned in sick before the stunt and wore pantyhose over their heads to conceal their identities during the prank, the Waukegan (Ill.) News-Sun reported Wednesday.

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Some of the students said the school overreacted with the harsh punishment.

"What's funnier than a gorilla chasing bananas through a school? Nothing," said Andrew Leinonen, the prank's mastermind and the student who dressed as a gorilla. "It was a harmless prank."

However, others said they were just thankful the school decided not to bar them from prom and graduation.

"We think this is a just punishment," said Brendon Epker, one of the students who dressed as bananas. "We broke rules we shouldn't have broken."

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