The Patch reported that two pigs were found in the high school. No information on where the pigs came from was available. That was the only mention in the press of the crime that is known as the high school's "Senior Prank Day."
There is a day at the end of the year where seniors are allowed (encouraged?) to do some really bad stuff. As far as I know no one gets in serious trouble. And frankly they should.
It is all fine and good to put little origami animals in a favorite teacher's room, or fill a teacher's room with beach balls or rubber ducks. But they are not the only pranks that are going on. They are not all harmless pranks.
I spoke to half a dozen students about what went down on this year's senior prank day, so this article comes with the usual caveats of " consider the source for validity." But I didn't believe it when they told me there were pigs in the school, and it turned out to be true, so I've got to believe the rest are probably true.
First, how is there no more information and how did no one get caught for bringing two pigs into the school?
We spent thousands of dollars buying cameras and locks and upgrading security at the high school to protect our children from potential terrorists. I mean I have to be buzzed in to get my kid for a doctor's appointment, so how did two pigs get into the building unnoticed? Were they disguised as freshmen? How are we going to catch Al Qaeda operatives if we missed two pigs walking in the door?
Pigs can't walk on tile floor. It is cruel to make them. They had to be sedated to be removed. This is animal abuse. No one gets in trouble for this?
Other things that were reported to me that should concern people:
- Goldfish in toilets
- Clam juice put in people's lockers.
- Dead sunfish in the cafeteria. ( Certainly a health violation)
- A rooster let loose in the school (seems to be a barnyard theme)
And dozens of others. When you suspend the rules for teenagers whose brains are not fully developed, some very scary things can happen. There is an obvious lack of concern for people's safety and their feelings.
Here are some things that I heard that really concerned me and should concern us all:
Hundreds of super balls put on the stairways so to make people fall. This has to be reckless endangerment, a felony.
Super-soakers used to shoot Italian dressing at people that ended up on the floor. Did you ever walk on a tile floor covered by Italian dressing? More slippery than ice!
Condoms were placed on doorknobs all over the school.
There was apparently a cardboard sign that said "Death to Jews" with a swastika on it in the tennis court in the morning .
A girl's car was egged and the words Dyke and C**t written on the car, in reference to her sexual orientation. The last two cases would be termed hate crimes in court. Certainly most of these would be violations of the new statewide anti-bulluing policies.
A teacher that is apparently not well liked by her students had her likeness put on a poster in place of a Latin American despot of a dictator with a caption " I run my class like I run my country." How would you like to be compared to a Latin American dictator for doing your job?
Other teachers who are strict or unliked had harsh unkind pranks pulled on them. This is harassment of our town workers trying to do their jobs, and it creates a hostile work place that no professional should have to deal with.
These things are not funny. I worked as a professional comic for three years in LA. These things are really not funny. These are cruel to people. These are dangerous. How many students are in danger of being collateral damage in the course of these pranks? Are schools not supposed to be safe havens for our kids?
Of course, the same people who endorse kids being kids and drinking by high school students is OK will tell you these pranks will provide fond memories for when the kids get older.
It is not as fond a memory if it is YOUR car that is egged. Or your locker that gets trashed or you that gets shot with salad dressing by half a dozen seniors. Those are scars that you bear with you until the day you die.
When you suspend the rules and the consequences that go with them for a day, this is what happens. Do we truly want high school students making these decisions -- what is a prank and what is not? on these life-threatening decisions on their own with no oversight and apparently no limits?
Where is the school administration on this? Where is the school committee, our elected officials on this? Can it be possible that they endorse these actions? Do they condone it so far as not to punish people?
Hell! Where is the teachers' union? Don't they feel they should protect their workers from abuse?
If we can't stop this, what are we really doing at the high school? Who is calling the shots? The students?