Senior prank treated like terrorist strike at NJ high school (Opinion)
People who long forgot what it’s like to be a kid shouldn’t be in public school administration.
A senior prank at Lyndhurst High School that should have been met with nothing more than a stern "talking to" for the alleged 18 perpetrators instead turned into a very close call on missing out on one of life‘s precious milestones.
A few nights ago, seniors got into the school after hours and moved a bunch of student desks out into the hallways. So the next morning the big joke was oh my God look at this ha ha ha this must be the senior prank! A father of one of the students says the boys spoke to the school safety officer and told them of the prank they wanted to do and were actually let into the building.
In fact, as senior pranks go, it was one of the least destructive. There were no live pigs numbered 1, 2 and 4 let loose so that after they were corralled staff would go on for hours searching for number 3, which didn’t exist. There was no greasing of door knobs and then pulling a fire alarm. There was no using construction equipment to move the principal’s car to the roof of the building. There was no destruction of property.
This should have been a good laugh and, “Alright students help me get these desks back inside the classrooms.“ Instead, the seniors were rounded up and told that they would not be allowed to walk at their graduation Wednesday night. All the years of hard work in their K-12 education would not be celebrated because of one silly, meaningless prank.
Fellow students and people in the town were not having any of it. Someone with a much better sense of humor than the district’s superintendent started a change.org petition demanding that the punishment be lifted. That received more than 2,800 signatures. It was announced Wednesday morning that the school gave in and changed its mind.
In what had to be part saving face and part joylessness, Lyndhurst School Superintendent Joseph A. DeCorso announced,
“This morning the administration met with parents of students involved with the high school prank incident. As a result of the discussions had, an amicable resolution was reached between the parties. Details concerning the resolution cannot be released as it involves sensitive student information. The Board is committed to preserving and securing the health welfare and safety of the students and staff at all of its buildings. We do not arrive at this resolution without concern for the future of our student body, especially during a time when the safety of students, within a school building, is of paramount concern.”
Health and safety? Come on. If they’re getting at the most extreme example, a fire or an active shooter when hallways were clogged with desks, they’re not without a point. But that point is so far-fetched as to be specious.
With most of these seniors’ high school years having been ruined by COVID-19 protocols, for all that they have been through as a graduating class, you would think the administration could have remembered that and not been so heavy-handed. I’m glad it ended well and the seniors got their moment to celebrate their graduation but it never should have come to all that to begin with.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.
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