Should Deans be Involved in Senior Pranks


Mia Wilson

Seniors Serena Goeriz, Beau Simons, Peighton Mulvaney, and Sophia Derienzo show their thoughts about faculty being involved in the senior prank. “It wouldn’t be a prank if they are condoning it because it ruins the whole point of a senior prank,” Sophia Derienzo said.

As a senior in high school, the opportunity of a senior prank can be exciting and entertaining. It’s a rite of passage for many students and a chance to leave their mark on their school before they depart for the next chapter of their lives. Second semester of senior year is a time of fun and games for many high school students and a long-standing tradition at many high schools – including CCHS – is having a senior prank where all of the seniors join together for a bonding experience and pull a prank on the school faculty, underclassmen, and teachers.

This semester, many of the seniors at CCHS organized a prank day where they planned a tailgate in the parking lot, brought speakers and music to school, and sprayed the underclassmen with water guns during lunch. Soon after the senior tailgate, principal Conroy sent an email and announced on the loudspeaker that our pranks were being disruptive to other students’ learning and that everything had to be shut down. The next day, Conroy called a senior into her office and said that the class of 2023 could have a “prank week” as long as every prank was brought to the deans’ attention beforehand.

There has been a lot of controversy among the seniors about the faculty being involved with the senior prank week. Many students, including myself, feel that, “it’s not a prank if the deans are condoning it because it ruins the whole point of pulling a prank,” (Sophia Derienzo ‘23) and that, “pranks should be against the rules so they wouldn’t be pranks if the school allows them,” (Valentina Magalhaes ‘23). The definition of a prank is “a practical joke or mischievous act” and if the deans are notified about the prank, it takes away the element of surprise which in turn takes away most of the fun from the activity. The deans should be inconvenienced by the senior prank and not be joining in on the fun like they did during the senior tailgate on Tuesday. The senior prank is intended to be a student-led initiative and it is an opportunity for the senior class to come together and plan a fun, harmless, and memorable prank. The involvement of faculty members in the prank undermines the entire purpose of the activity and the senior class should be responsible for their own actions and be trusted to plan and execute the prank without the help of the school faculty. Senior Zevin Attisha says that he is, “a man of the people,” and that he doesn’t think that a “higher power should intrude.”

After day 1 of the pranks, Principal Conroy called senior Michael Peterson into her office and explained that she needed to be informed about all the senior pranks or they would all have to be shut down. Peterson states that he believes, “the multiple deans and Mrs. Conroy want to allow us to have fun with these pranks that the seniors are pulling but the whole point of a “senior prank” is to surprise the school as a final send off before we leave. Of course we don’t want to cause any trouble or harm to anybody or anything, but I personally believe that the deans should be separate from the pranking going on.”

The deans at CCHS have a different opinion about the senior prank as they do not trust the seniors to pull a safe and non-disruptive prank. Based on past years, many of the faculty have reason to believe that seniors can sometimes take their pranks too far by directing their jokes toward underclassmen. English teacher Mrs. Desantis states that she believes, “traditionally the point of the senior prank is that no one expects it. However I will say that the pranks shouldn’t harm others or make other people feel unwelcome or attacked or targeted. I think pranks used to be more lighthearted but now students are confusing pranks with tricks, which are different. So until seniors figure out the difference it might necessitate dean interference.” The school faculty want to foster and encourage a community of students who come together and support each other and they believe that when one grade targets other grades, it can create a divide among the students.

In spite of this concern, underclassmen are aware that every year the seniors pull a class prank and many of the freshman, sophomores, and juniors are perfectly fine with being pranked. In fact, most of them enjoy the senior prank because they are able to join in on the fun since they take the activity as a joke. Many of them believe that, “the seniors do not have malicious intent because it is a senior tradition and is something fun to lighten up the air during the hard times of seniors leaving all the underclassmen and juniors,” (Symphonie Lavoie ‘24). The juniors are okay with being pranked because it isn’t hurting anyone physically or emotionally and is not stopping any of them from doing their work in class. “I do not think that seniors aim to harm the underclassmen or school in any way. If anything, they are doing pranks as an act of dedication as they uphold tradition and create a culture that makes senior year seem exclusive and desirable. Seniors give the underclassmen something to look forward to and aspire to,” (Aaron Dumas ‘24). The underclassmen at CCHS are more than happy to participate in the senior prank, even if they are the ones who are taking the joke because they know that they will have their turn in the following years.

In my opinion, the senior class should take responsibility for their actions if they are taken in a negative way, and the faculty should focus on ensuring the safety of the students. With a responsible and lighthearted approach, the senior prank can be a fun and memorable event for all involved and foster a sense of unity rather than division.