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Planking Ban: Western Kentucky Univ. Freshman Barred from Campus

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on August 16, 2011 1:04 PM

An incoming freshman at Western Kentucky University, Tyler Webster was made the subject of a planking ban last week, effectively barring him from setting foot on campus until university officials determine whether he will be allowed to start classes in two weeks.

Apparently WKU didn't appreciate a recent article in the Bowling Green Daily News chronicling Webster's planking adventures on university grounds.

Or his alleged defacing of school property.

In addition to the article making reference to a variety of planking incidents on campus statues, The Herald-Leader reports that Webster also discussed distributing stickers declaring "This spot has just been planked."

Campus officials, citing photos and statements made by Webster to the Daily News, believe that he has placed the stickers on campus art, which they consider to be the destruction of property.

And what does Tyler Webster think?

He told the Herald-Leader that a sticker isn't "defacing property because you can just pull it off. Defacing property means spray-painting something or breaking it."

Unfortunately, it appears WKU and the law don't see such a distinction

Stickers leave residue and are difficult to remove from most surfaces, often causing permanent damage. Kentucky laws criminalize even the smallest amount of defacement, only increasing the punishment based on the cost of repair.

So whether a sticker on a statue causes $1 or $1000 in damage, it's still technically a violation of the law.

Hopefully, university officials won't ultimately feel the same way next week. Tyler Webster is set to meet with Judicial Affairs on August 22 to discuss the campus (and planking) ban.

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