Senior pranks and their consequences

By RJ Marx — The end of the school year is quickly approaching which means a couple traditions for the senior class to participate in. Some of these annual traditions include prom, graduation and of course senior pranks.

Senior pranks are a yearly event at most high schools across the country. At times, hours and hours of planning take place for a tiny prank and other times the idea for it can spark over night. However, after last year’s Perry High School “food fight” the district is making it very clear what their response will be to the senior pranks.

“You won’t walk at graduation if caught,” principal Tamiko Hatcher said.

In the past, students have asked permission to pull a prank, but because of the uncertainty of a prank, the administration is unable to give a yes or no answer on a prank pitch students might put together for them.
Pranks can be directed toward a group of individuals or the school in general.

“You don’t know what the students are capable of doing or how far they are willing to take it,” Hatcher said.

Hatcher cited last year’s senior prank administrators let continue. Administrators let the beach party on the sidewalk go on after asking students if this was the only plan. However, at the end of the school day seniors were throwing water balloons at younger students in the parking lot. Hatcher witnessed reckless driving in the parking lot as students attempted to avoid the balloons.

“The issue behind picking out a certain group of people or even individual is it could infringe with someone else’s rights,” Hatcher said. “Even if a prank is directed towards a certain group of friends who have a great sense of humor, there could be an innocent bystander who is offended by the prank and report it to the administrators.”

Often times when senior pranks get taken too far the police can get involved. The majority of the senior class is 18 years old or older, making them eligible to face charges by the federal law. Not only does the risk of not walking at graduation come into play but also jail time or blemishes on your permanent record.
“All we do is forbid the students from walking,” Hatcher said. “If further punishment is necessary then that will be carried out by the police.”

If the wrong person is on the end of the a senior prank it can leave them with haunting memories for years to come. In 2009, English teacher Courtney Breon was on the end of an Ohio State/Michigan prank. The day before the highly anticipated yearly Ohio State/Michigan football game, Breon walked into her classroom to find a surprise.

A few of her students (Ohio State fans) decorated her room to replicate the Ohio State football stadium, the
“Horseshoe”. Breon, being a die-hard Michigan fan, could not believe what she walked into.

“I cried,” Breon said. “I walked into my room, sat on the ground, put my head into my lap and started to cry.”

I took hours for the students to set up the prank and just that long to take it back down.
Pranks can be worth the memories but before you participate in one ask yourself is it truly worth the possible punishments that can entail.

[Updated Aug. 7, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]