Ames High seniors clash with administration over pranks

Seniors pull pranks in the final weeks of the school year. That is the idea that has been placed in the mind of every high school student from the time they are tiny freshmen. However, due to the disaster of last year’s “senior countdown,” the questionable “pool party” the year before, and the near senior water fight on Thursday, the 19th, the administration has made it clear that pranks and disruptions to the school day will no longer be tolerated. “A prank that’s funny, I get that,” Principal Spence Evans said. “A prank that causes destruction is something that I am not happy with.” When news of the impending deluge reach Principal Evans, he left a district administrative meeting and hurried back to the high school in time to make an announcement near the end of second period to the effect of warning seniors that participation in the water fight could result in consequences affecting athletic eligibility as well as being able to walk at the graduation ceremony. This followed an announcement made by Mr. Paulson at the end of the regular daily notes that had the same message. Nonetheless, a confused and disorganized mass of seniors showed up in the lobby outside the media center with oddly bulging backpacks full of squirt guns and paper bags that undoubtedly concealed water balloons. A grim Principal Evans and a host of teachers and counselors stood guard as the mob joined the spectators, drawn by the excitement and general pandemonium, to clot the hallways used by uninvolved students trying to get to class. Reports indicate that travel times between classes, if passing through the back lobby, were as much as quadrupled. Undeterred by the bell that announced that over half the school was late for third period, the mass of people continued to churn undecidedly despite the cries of the onlooking teachers telling students to get to class. Eventually, however, the seniors and all interested parties dispersed without any major incident. Several minutes later, during the now near-useless third period, Principal Evans made another announcement reminding students that the administration was not going to run a “babysitting service,” informing teachers that they were to mark tardy any and all students that showed up for class after the bell rang, and even going so far as to warn that backpacks may be banned if needed. “I am going to take hard stance on anything that causes destruction to the building,” Principal Evans said. “And, whether that means having to ban backpacks because we are carrying things throughout the year, or whatever it may mean, we can be a lot more secure with our building.” The response from the senior class has been less than gracious. Many consider it their unalienable right to be able to pull a prank at the end of their fourth year. “I think everyone overreacted compared to the pranks in past years,” said senior Hannah Steenblock. “There would have been no damage, no trespassing. It may have been potentially annoying, but that is what a senior prank is supposed to be. Mr. Evans reacted like this last year.” However, the administration is sticking to its actions, and most teachers are generally amused and supportive of the administration’s response. “I think the reaction to the water fight is fine,” teacher Charles Ripley said. “I mean, if students are going to make bad decisions that interrupt the school day, the administration has to respond in kind.” The emotions on both sides were running high for the rest of the day Thursday, but the senior class will have to realize that the administration is not going to back down. The fact of the matter is that future senior pranks need to either be significantly different than in the past or simply cease to exist. “I understand that the seniors have worked very hard and have shown leadership,” Principal Evans said. “I just hope that they continue to show leadership, and if they do a prank, they make it thoughtful and creative instead of destructive.”