Mary Parker Powell, Staff Writer

Four Idaho students angry over suspensions took revenge on their high school principal by burning down his house while he and his family were still inside, police said.

Mark Heleker, his wife, and daughter were able to escape.

The alleged criminal quartet — three high-schoolers and one middle-school student, all boys younger than 18 — are all in custody, Clark added. And two of them face first-degree arson charges that could send them to jail for life.  In Idaho, arson automatically puts them into adult court.

Chief Mark Clark of the City of Payette Police Department said “it appears to be retaliation against the principal for a couple of them being suspended for the week prior for drug-related activity.”

They managed to escape with all of their pets and a few possessions.  But the fire destroyed three cars in the driveway and the entire house.

The family is living in a motel and driving borrowed cars from friends until their house is fixed.