A Lost Tradition

Are regulations on senior pranks ruining the fun?

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A Lost Tradition

Elizabeth Hahn, Staff Writer

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Last week, Millard West seniors carried out their “senior prank” for the 2018-2019 school year. This “prank” was underwhelming. However, there is not much that students can do because of the rules placed in regards to senior pranks. As long as there are these restrictions, the pranks are completely meaningless.

This year, the seniors decided to make their “senior prank” a cookout in one of the parking lots that students would have to pay for in order to participate. They brought yard games and dressed in Hawaiian clothes for this event. First of all, this is not a prank. The parking lot they used was in the back of the school, completely hidden. Many students didn’t even know this cookout was going on. The “gag” was supposed to be that the students would have to pay for the food and that this cookout was taking up needed parking space. A cookout shouldn’t be considered a prank because it’s the same thing as a tailgate. No one was completely surprised that the seniors did this for their prank. The shock factor is incredibly important in a prank or else no one will care. Students aren’t talking about it because it wasn’t something to make a big deal about. This year was a let down.

Millard West has restrictions on what can be done in a senior prank. Obviously, it can’t put the students in danger, and it is preferred that it not be disruptive to the usual flow of the school day. This shows that the seniors are not to blame for staging a completely underwhelming prank. The rules Millard West has restricts seniors to either pulling off a prank prior to school’s start or after the school day is over. In most cases, the seniors pick before school. This isn’t a satisfactory time to do it because many students don’t get to school until right before the five minute bell. Some seniors even have their first block off. These people would be unable to take part in or see whatever the prank is. The only way a prank can actually be done during the day is if it’s out of the way of the students. This makes it really hard to do a prank that can be enjoyed by the entire school.

Most schools have the tradition of senior pranks. Many of them carry out huge pranks that are talked about on social media and the internet. For example, in 2016, around 70 students brought their dogs to school in order to turn their parking lot into a dog park. Their principal allowed this and even took part in the madness. This senior prank is interesting and would be fun for all grade levels.

Another example of a well-executed senior prank was when seniors at a school in Wisconsin staged a fake crash, where a car looked like it ran right through the principal’s office. Of course this was controversial, but in the end, the principal and the police officers who responded to the situation thought it was genius. It might have gone a little too far, but at least it was something that the students and teachers will never forget. Millard West is doing essentially nothing compared to these examples.

If anything, the pranks have gotten worse each year. Last year, students attempted to bring their dogs to school but had to take them home very soon after. The prank last year would’ve been more successful if they had been able to keep their dogs here longer. 2017 wasn’t any better. That year, they brought their bikes to school to take up the parking lot and interrupt traffic. This one was okay, but it really only made people angry that there weren’t spots available. Pranks are supposed to be funny. They are not supposed to ruin someone else’s day.

Senior pranks are supposed to be a beloved tradition in high schools. At Millard West, it sadly isn’t anymore. Obviously, the safety of students is incredibly important. However, there should be some leeway to more parts of the day that students can carry out these pranks. Before and after school don’t suffice. More time opportunities to do these pranks will encourage more students to take part in the fun.

This year’s cookout prank was a disappointment to people who were waiting to see what the seniors would pull off. Blame shouldn’t fall on the students, though. The tight regulations make it completely impossible to pull anything off. If these aren’t ever changed, each year is going to be let down after let down. The senior prank is supposed to be something that one can look forward to their senior year, but it’s not that anymore. No one really cares. It’s sad that this tradition is starting to go away. The regulations set have ruined it for students, but many still have hope that maybe one day senior pranks will be enjoyable again.

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