Campus & Community

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Ricketts engineers his own course

During his sophomore year in high school, Deko Ricketts and his friends — he called them “The Bros” — got caught lighting matches in the chemistry lab. The stunt was stupid and dangerous. It also was not the first time The Bros broke the rules at Barstow, an elite, private school in Kansas City, Mo. The friends had a reputation for playing pranks and acting wild. They even commandeered an out-of-the-way nook and turned into their own hideaway, which they called Party Cove.

“You know the book, ‘The Outsiders?’” Ricketts said. “We felt like we were golden, like we could do anything we wanted.”

Well, clearly not anything. After the chem lab incident, the head of school immediately suspended Ricketts and his friends and threatened expulsion. Ricketts panicked.

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