The Louisa County Sheriff’s Office responded to Walmart at Zion Crossroads shortly before 8 a.m. on Friday morning to a report of a group of 50 or more teens horseplaying in the store—throwing teddy bears, riding bicycles in the aisles and being generally disruptive.
The Fluvanna County High School students had made their way over to the store after celebrating Lumberjack Day with pancakes and syrup
at the IHOP restaurant across the street early this morning. James Barlow, the school’s principal, said Lumberjack Day is not a school-sanctioned event.
The annual event was started by students at Fluvanna High School eight years ago and is traditionally held on the first Friday in February in which a home basketball game is scheduled. Tonight, the Flucos play the Orange Hornets at home.
About 75 students, dressed in flannels, jeans and other lumberjack-related attire, dined at the restaurant on Friday morning, according to a supervisor at the restaurant.
“This is the best behaved group in all these years,” Adela Mendez of IHOP said of the students.
But at Walmart, the group was a little more spirited, prompting store management to call the sheriff’s office.
“They shooed them all home,” one of the store’s elderly customers said. “It was so many of them, all on their iPods. I just wanted to know why they weren’t in school.”
Some of the teens did some shopping and made purchases, according to Mark Wright, the store’s asset protections manager.
“But the last little group of them left a mess in the store,” he said.
Major Donald Lowe of LCSO said that the students left the property after deputies spoke with them. No charges were pressed against the teens, whose school day begins at 8:45 a.m.
“It was a bunch of teenagers out having fun and it went a little too far,” Lowe said. “No harm, no foul.”
But school administrators are taking the matter seriously. A school administrator has met with Walmart management to review the incident.
“I was told the majority of [the students] were fine, but one or two of them did some things the manager thought were inappropriate,” Barlow said.
However, there’s only so much that school officials can do when an incident concerns student behavior outside of normal school hours, Barlow acknowledged.
“Those [students] will be talked to … we’ll have a conversation with them and let know that Flucos don’t act like that.”