June 5, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Senior Prank a fiasco once again


Memed in the aftermath of Senior Prank 2013.

May 14, Tuesday night, as this reporter lay dreaming fitfully of Hamiltonianism and the Cuban Missile Crisis, mischief was afoot in the dark halls of GSA.

Senior Prank is an annual tradition at many high schools.  Pranks are delicate things, apt to go awry when too many people are involved.  Many scoffed at the class of 2012’s prank, which by morning had been mostly cleaned up by the janitorial staff.  This year’s seniors vowed to redeem the ritual with a prank that nobody would forget.  In September the closed senior Facebook group became a forum for highly anticipated prank.  Throughout the year sophisticated plans circulated, involving alarm clocks, boom boxes, and rewired intercoms, but by May 14th preparations had devolved into a mad rush to Walmart to stockpile the tried and true essentials: silly string and glitter.  Abby Nowland, prank ambassador to the administration, asked Mr. Moore, “what can’t we do?”  The Rules: nobody gets hurt; nobody hurts the school; nobody makes a mess; nobody breaks the law.  Plans were made on Facebook to sleep over in the gym and screen The Princess Bride.  At 11 pm, students began arriving with their loot.  Senior shenanigans ensued.

Abby Nowland buying prank supplies.

Abby Nowland buying prank supplies.

Throughout the night seniors came and went in groups.  Nobody slept in the school, nor did much sleep happen elsewhere.  Pranksters present spoke of two prank factions: a destructive horde followed closely by a more conscientious group that frantically swept and scrubbed in their wake.  Mere Torrey says she and some friends left the school early and went to Denny’s, but returned because they felt guilty about the mess.  What they found was even worse than the scene they had left- glitter dumped liberally in drifts on the carpets, silly string and tinsel clinging to student artwork, desks piled in the academy building Les Mis blockade-style.  Carissa Butler and Dan Ferden said they were scrubbing graffiti off the walls at three in the morning.

Morning custodian George Cuomo was there.  Mr. Perkinson showed up at 5:30 to help him sweep up and drag the couch out of the gym and the piano out of the girl’s locker room.  Bottles were found in the belfry.  Scrawled in chalk on one wall was the note “not all of us wanted this.”  On Facebook Zak Vogel posted a conciliatory message, saying that no matter what happened last night he still loved everyone.  Wednesday, designated Senior Skip Day, found some seniors at the beach, some in the AP US History test, and most probably sacked out in bed.  But over the next two days tensions ran high— some pranksters discouraged reflection on the debacle by glaring silently at each other in study hall, others took to Facebook to rail against their peers.   The faculty was not happy.  Papers in the teachers’ lounge had been taken from mailboxes and scattered.  Mr. Kazmierczak refused to speak to any member of the senior class for nearly a full week, leaving a student who tried to apologize for the glue in his lotion in tears.  The Perkinator was not happy.  Mr. Moore was irate.  Abby prostrated herself before the administration, saying that things had not gone as intended, fearing swift retribution from the disciplinarian assistant head.

“Senior prank,” said Moore to The Procrastinator, “I don’t think there is such a thing.  I dislike the concept.”  He went on to debunk the idea that the prank was somehow a “tradition” at GSA, pointing out that it has only been going on since 2009.  Moore says he’s angry but not surprised by the prank’s escalation.  “The worst thing for me was that the school was entered at all.  You are knowingly trespassing, knowingly violating the law.  And that’s how you start the night.”  The thing that made him angriest was what he heard students say about George having to clean up.  “That’s his job,” they said.  Moore pursed his lips.  “Any time stuff is done that causes a lot of work for other people, that’s wrong,” he said. “Destroying somebody else’s stuff— it’s not right.” (continued inside)  Senior Prank (continued from front) Moore also says the school is considering installing a security camera system like the one at BHCS, though he can think of numerous ways to better spend $10,000.

Mr. Perkinson and Mr. Moore readily acknowledge that they have very different philosophies about pranking.  Both admit to having participated in their share of juvenile misdeeds.  “I have been the recipient of great institutional mercy,” says Perkinson, who is aware that high school students occasionally make dumb decisions.

Only one student has come forward to take responsibility for their actions.  Only one student has been punished.

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