Senior pranks have been a ‘thing’ in high schools for many years now, but are they taken too far in today’s society? Here’s a quick refresher of last year’s class of 2017 pranks that happened at the school: filling Dr. Kathy McFarland’s office with balloons, bring your dog to school day, and of course, the random hiding of the watermelons throughout the building. The exact definition of a prank, as defined in Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “a practical joke or mischievous act,” and that is what senior pranks are supposed to be. However, an anonymous 2015 graduate said that some were taken just slightly too far.
“The pulling of the fire alarm- although the student knew what he was getting into and it was funny at the time, there was the possibility for someone to get hurt, which should never happen in a prank,” the anonymous graduate said.
Pranking that takes place within a school building, or even a school-sponsored event, should be executed with caution, and the students taking part should be aware of the dangers that could erupt from the chaos. English teacher Laura Calland explains how her high school, Westerville South High School, took part in the classic act of senior pranks as well.
“Class numbers were ‘bleached’ into the grass by the football field, crickets and mice were released in hallways and Vaseline was put on the handrails. I am not one for ‘destruction or cruelty,’ and during my senior year the pranks were a bit annoying to me,” Calland said. “If they had been more lighthearted or humorous, I may have [taken part]!”
As Calland said, senior pranks should be, and were meant to be lighthearted. Simple pranks, such as having a beach party and tailgate in the parking lot before school, are disruptive but not harmful or putting any student in physical danger.
“We also did a simple one where we had as many people as possible set their car alarms off at the same time in the middle of the school day,” the anonymous graduate said.
Administration has no specific way of handling pranks that take place in the school building. However, Calland said how teachers are supposed to react.
“I don’t know if there is an official protocol, but in general if teachers are concerned about the safety of the school or students at anytime, we have a responsibility to report the information,” Calland said.
The pulling of the fire alarm in 2015 resulted in the student being arrested and put behind bars, yet his friends bailed him out later the same day, according to the anonymous graduate. However, conflicts arose from this incident about whether or not school administrations should restrict or acknowledge pranks taking place.
“It has to be hard to draw the line in terms of pranks that are allowed and not allowed. That said, I think that some pranks can be done with a good nature and without causing destruction or school distraction. I wouldn’t want to be the one to make that decision, though,” Calland said.
Senior pranks have become a year-after-year trend and are only becoming bigger through the classes in high school.
“There’s nothing wrong with a senior prank, it’s just tradition,” the anonymous graduate said, “I think administration should calm down on restrictions regarding senior pranks and the students wouldn’t take them as far.”