Proud prank tradition should continue

They rightfully make administration nervous, but seniors pranks are a fun tradition

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Nell Burgener, Staff Writer

In 1992, the seniors at Lake Forest High School sent home a letter to parents signed “The Prom Committee.” The letter notified parents that condoms would be distributed to the prom attendees.

The prank shook up parents, and even resulted in a story in The Chicago Tribune, which wrote that “Lake Forest parents fainted all over their tea sets” when they read the letter.

Senior pranks similar to this one have been a staple of Lake Forest High School for decades; however, they obviously make the administration nervous.

“We don’t want to get rid of a tradition,” said dean Mrs. Tomek. “We just want kids to be safe.”

After digging through the school website for a while, I found a letter addressed to students, parents, and guardians of the class of 2019. It is dated “April 2019”, and is signed by our two deans. The first part of the letter addresses substance abuse at prom, which I can respect as an important issue.

A senior pranks is supposed to be just that: a prank. Wasn’t the school supposed to be caught off guard by it?”

The second part of the letter, however, caught me off guard. The paragraph mentions senior pranks and how they have “at times, resulted in students planning activities that are inappropriate.” It also states that everything from a practical joke to actual vandalism have negatively impacted the end-of-year activities.

Reading the letter from the deans felt funny to me because senior pranks are supposed to be just that: a prank. Wasn’t the school supposed to be caught off guard by it?

“We appreciate it when students work with us,” Tomek said. She went on to explain how she had a conversation with a dean from another school who had helped the senior class execute a non-harmful senior prank.

The letter from the deans goes on to say that senior pranks are “not appropriate at any time during the school year and such activities may result in students losing the opportunity to attend significant events like Prom, Graduation and/or other culminating activities.”

Tomek said there might be some exceptions, like the time students all walked or biked to school from the old Burger King in town. “I wouldn’t say they were favorites, but there have been some that I haven’t minded,” added Tomek.

It’s disappointing that a few more invasive senior pranks have ruined the tradition for the years that came after them, but it also wasn’t entirely their fault. The school administration should understand that virtually any prank might have the potential to interrupt the normal flow of a school day.

That’s what makes a prank, a prank.

Almost everyone that has gone through Lake Forest High School has heard the story of the infamous “tree in the front lawn” prank. That was the year when the seniors sneaked out onto the front lawn in the middle of the night, and planted an endangered tree right in the center.

Sure, this is technically vandalism, and by no means do I condone that behavior, but we look back on that tree prank as one of the funniest, most iconic moments in Lake Forest history. While this prank may have crossed a line in the eyes of some, there are still plenty of other less invasive pranks to be pulled. It’s just sad to think we might be risking things like Prom and Graduation, if we carry them out.

“There’s a difference between having fun and crossing a line,” said Tomek. I think most people can agree that pulling a senior prank that breaks the law or ends up being a mess for someone else to clean up, isn’t much fun.

To me, the point of senior pranks isn’t entirely to “make a mark” for our graduating class, but also to carry on a tradition. It is one thing that the whole grade can come together to plan, without the help or input of the administration.

The class of 2019 should continue the classic senior prank tradition, without fear of losing our privileges. If we don’t make a mess, and don’t hurt or disrupt anyone or anything, there is no reason this end of year ritual should be discontinued.