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The West Press

The West Press

The Senior Prank That Never Was

For the first time in many years, the Lakota West admins did not allow students to participate in a senior prank.

As the Class of 2024 left Lakota West High School, it felt like something was missing from their departure. As though they “went out with a whimper,” the seniors departed without a trace of their presence: no mess, toilet paper, or bustling main street. The school was quiet and somber on the 10th of May, with the striking emptiness of the school halls with ⅓ of the school missing. Senior Prank never happened, but what caused the student-loved tradition to crumble?

To figure out why things never went to plan with the Class of ‘24’s senior prank, we need to look back on the Class of 2023’s prank, consisting of toilet paper, knocking banners off the ceiling, tarantulas, and zip-tying lockers shut. The prank itself was fairly normal, but there was one issue: Not everything that happened was approved. The principal of Lakota West, Ben Brown, has been known to have a tight policy on what happens during senior pranks; with the chaos that is the end of the school year, it is often recommended you plan what happens during the pranks many weeks prior. 

In 2024, seniors had trouble organizing their ideas into what was approved. With numerous GroupMe’s and text chats created, no one knew who was in charge. Molly Bell, a graduating senior from West, described the removal of the pranks as understandable, but frustrating.

“The senior prank didn’t happen because the classes before us took the prank too far. I know in past years the prior classes have brought in live insects, and have done doughnuts in the parking lot…I would hope that West would rethink the prank situation because the Class of ‘24 was upset. I hope administrators look at the bigger picture for future graduating classes.”

To the school, there are many benefits to not hosting a mess on main street. Both students and staff have advocated for Custodians, arguing they shouldn’t have to clean up such a large-scale mess created by students. Senior Prank is only displayed for the first 30 minutes to an hour on the senior’s last day, so why bother spending so much time cleaning up a mess that could easily be avoided?

The question still stands: Do we need a senior prank? The tradition has been around for nearly 100 years, taking place in high schools and colleges around the globe. Some schools have opted to ban the trashing, and instead replace it with regulated, scheduled events for students to participate in “non-traditional” activities provided by the school.

Senior pranks have always been deeply valued by students, being the one day where seniors can rebel against over 12 years of education. After AP tests, state testing, presentation after presentation, project after project, exam after exam; why stop the seniors from having their one day of fun? How hard would it be to pay the custodians a bit more that day since they don’t get paid enough in the first place? How hard would it be for the school to lighten up and allow for a bit of fun, just for one day a year (even though it only lasts for an hour?) Should Lakota bring back senior pranks, or trash the senior tradition once and for all?

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About the Writer
Thomas Price
Thomas Price, Website Manager
Thomas Price is a second-year student in Journalism who has been heavily involved in The West Press over the last school year. He participates in many of Lakota’s extra-curricular and in-school programs, such as being a member of the Hope Squad, Junior Board, Lakota West Drumline, performer in the Marching Band, and a Percussionist in Symphonic Winds. As a creatively driven student, Thomas is also skilled in many technical areas, whether through the use of photography, video design, or media creation. Through The West Press, he focuses on writing local news and opinion articles, giving daily insight into the good and bad West has to offer to its students and staff.

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    OliviaMay 27, 2024 at 9:40 pm

    Good article! Love the quotes and transitions sad there was no prank but happy I didn’t have to come to west late at night to do a “prank”