'Tis the season for senior pranks - Chicago area

<p>So this happened in the suburbs of Chicago. I happen to know of one of the administrators of this school (and have not heard good things about him - he's known to give athletes a break on school policies that other students wouldn't get) and so I'm following this story rather closely. It's been interesting reading some of the public comments on this... every extreme is represented!</p>

<p>Daily</a> Herald | Bartlett High School prankster: 'It went way too far'</p>

By any standard, Zach Konstanzer was a model high school student. But he went from role model to pariah in one short day, thanks to a combination of baby oil and vegetable oil.</p>

<p>Konstanzer is one of six Bartlett High School seniors ticketed by police and barred from any senior activities this week and Saturday's graduation ceremony after a school prank went awry Friday.....</p>

<p>........All that for a prank Friday that left his high school's hallways and stairs covered in oil, resulting in injuries to a school custodian and three students. The custodian was taken to an urgent care center with a wrenched back, and the students went to the nurse's office with bruises, Principal Kevin Skinkis said.</p>

<p>The school's 2,700 students were kept in their first-period class for 2½ hours so the floors could be scrubbed......</p>

<p>......."Do I think it's a fair punishment?" Konstanzer asked. "No. For me to make one mistake ... it seems like all of my accomplishments are in the shadow of that one big mistake."</p>

<p>"I haven't been in trouble once. None of us had any disciplinary actions before," he added.


<p>So, given some of the comments made on the UVA lacrosse thread, I thought it would be interesting to hear what people have to say about this one. Do you think the punishment is too harsh? If they are not properly disciplined (which is what this school district thinks is appropriate), what lesson would these kids learn? That they can do this kind of stuff and get away with it?</p>

<p>I think the punishment fits. That kind of prank is extremely dangerous, especially on stairways. The student is lucky no one was hurt any worse than they were.</p>

<p>We always had unwritten rules (that everyone still follows) that senior pranks could not cause permanent damage, and had no potential to cause people physical harm. That's when it goes to being funny to being mean/cruel.</p>

<p>Agree with^^. The prank was not creative or funny in any way. They should have put the oil in the soap dispensers, perhaps. With blue food coloring?</p>

<p>Any prank with the potential to cause injuries is not funny. When someone does get hurt, it is truly tragic. I wonder how these smart aleck kids feel now that they have injured the custodian. Sounds really good. I wonder if their colleges will hear of this and give them a time out for a year or semester. Some do, you know.</p>

<p>The thing is this prank is not even funny ... must of been one bunch of idiots, I mean c'mon</p>

<p>I don't know how I feel about being banned from Graduation, however why weren't the students the ones scrubbing the hallways? As the custodian is going to be out of work perhaps the students should be responsible for their duties, as well as community service in the form of yard maintenance at the injured employees home. The students then see what they did not before. This is a person with a home to take care of, possibly a family, who is dependent on that salary. They put that in jeopardy when they saw a 'prank' and not the people who would be affected.</p>

<p>Punishment for the sake of punishment is rarely effective. Give it a purpose, and they have a chance to learn from what they did. All they are learning now is don't get caught, you'll get in a heap of trouble. This may be enough for some. Why not teach them why, open their eyes. They may see more clearly the next time.</p>

<p>So I found an earlier article that had these quotes from the principal:</p>

Skinkis said it was a shock when he learned who the students involved were.</p>

<p>"I don't think they realized how bad this would be. The prank wasn't well thought out. It was a poor decision by a few individuals."


Skinkis was careful what he said about the students to protect their privacy, but he did say they were good students.</p>

<p>"It was definitely a shock," he said. "They have not had a disciplinary history. While the investigation is ongoing, they will not be participating in any school activities, including athletics."


<p>^ I'm going to go with good old manual labor. It is a serious motivator. It will not do permanent damage, or ruin futures, only bruise their pride.</p>

<p>If life were fair, they would wrench the backs of the six students and bruise them too.</p>

<p>......."Do I think it's a fair punishment?" Konstanzer asked. "No. For me to make one mistake ... it seems like all of my accomplishments are in the shadow of that one big mistake."</p>

<p>What a joke! Obviously the kid doesn't understand, and only a serious punishment will get through to him. Too bad for the injured. Too bad for everybody at that school that has had their last weeks marred.</p>

<p>We were just talking about Senior Pranks last night. None really tried this year yet except for the possible set up yesterday of LOTS of torn bread in front of the school entrance to try and attract the gazillion geese that are in the area. </p>

<p>Part of the problem is the fine line between funny vs. harmful. Harmful to people or property. I don't get how kids don't see this, but apparently they don't. At one of our suburban schools this year a group of kids went and dug a big, deep square hole in the middle of the football field - this is funny??? I don't see it. But definitely harmful and costly to repair. </p>

<p>I guess kids are looking for that one "great" story to tell for years to come. :(</p>

<p>Good senior pranks from my high school included removing all the chairs from the building and building a (removable) beach in front of the school, complete with sand and chaises. No potential for hurting anyone. Oil on the staircase is really, really stupid. It makes me think this student watched too many Saturday morning cartoons where Tom & Jerry or Wile E. Coyote slipped on a banana peel and were fine in the next frame.</p>

<p>A prank that could injure others crosses a line. I think these kids were really dumb in their choice of prank. I mean they had to know that people would slip and fall! Nothing is funny about that. A prank should be funny, and not cause harm. </p>

<p>I think they should be punished. I would be into no senior activities, though I would not have taken the graduation ceremony away. I like blueiguana's ideas for consequences such as cleaning the school and community service to help those who were injured.</p>

<p>I agree with blueiguana. I feel that along with missing senior activities and the graduation ceremony...they should be the ones to clean up the mess. However I also feel that this was a deserved and harsh enough punishment. I'm sure that missing the culmination of high school (grad) will always be in the back of Zach's mind from now on.</p>

<p>Senior pranks are supposed to be funny. Zach's prank was nowhere close to being appropriate or funny. He jumped in without realizing the consequences.</p>

<p>One thing I don't like that the boy said was about it being "only one mistake." The point is that one mistake can do harm. It doesn't matter how many mistakes you have made. </p>

<p>I'm not into taking away graduation itself, however. But yes to significant consequences.</p>

<p>Our students have brought the entire counties intranet to a grinding stop by, well methods that were not widely passed down. These are IT kids. It was not received well and I doubt would be attempted again. I can't remember what the 'punishment' was. It was over a weekend so continuity of business was not greatly affected. Still, not a good idea.<br>
Early on one class wrote several wikipedia entries about staff, embellishing facts in a funny, but non-offensive way. Restrictions on wikipedia are far more strict now.<br>
One class put celphones above the ceiling tiles and set them to all ring at the same time during class. Phones were confiscated, and parents had to come pick them up from security...that was the extent of that one.<br>
I have heard whispers of the current class painting the grass on grounds the school color. Somehow this is able to be hosed down and removed easily. They better hope it doesn't rain.</p>

<p>The desire to 'one-up' previous classes pranks certainly creates an atmosphere where the students often do not think of ramifications.</p>

<p>My class put a car on top of the school...not sure how that was done. I understand that is of the 'oh-so-boring' category now! :)</p>

<p>NOTE: Regarding the punishments for the students the OP brought to light, the reason I would not keep them from participating in graduation is I feel this would be a terrible blow to the parents and extended family who were planning celebrations. Their students used terrible judgement and should be held responsible. I simply wouldn't include this aspect.</p>

<p>Yeah, I am not into not letting kids attend graduation. That is the culmination of their four years of positive things at school for them and for their families. I would rather consequences for their misdeeds that are more related to the misdeed and/or are missing other privileges. I don't think of graduation day as a privilege as much as recognition of their work in high school to earn the diploma and a rite of passage for family . My niece also was not allowed to attend her graduation and I thought that was too harsh and that the other things that were taken away like prom and getting a suspension and the other consequences she got were much more appropriate (this wasn't for a senior prank, however).</p>

<p>Did the school district consider suing the kids for the medical expenses related to the custodian's workers compensation claim? Or do thetaxpayers have to foot the bill for this persons lost wages, medical bills and scans? Back pains seriously affect those doing manual labor, so this may be more than a couple of days off and a visit to the doctor. These kids may know the real meaning of responsibility when their college funds go to pay for this prank.</p>

<p>well, you guys all honed in on the observation I also noted, that the kid (and the principal) are insisting they're good kids and have never gotten into any trouble before. So does this mean their punishment should be less? I don't know. Maybe they've never been caught before, but have done things... we'll certainly never know the truth to that.</p>

<p>At the end of D1's senior year, during the musical, she 'sort of' participated in a senior prank. A few of the kids had talked about hooking a colorful bra on the cork board of the set (which was a dentist's office - Little Shop of Horrors). I'm sitting in the audience when the curtain went up and saw the bra and thought two things to myself... 1) oh boy, nice senior prank... someone's going to get in trouble. 2) doesn't D1 have a bra about that color? hmmmmmm.. nah...</p>

<p>So at intermission, I saw the theatre teacher and casually made a comment about a funny skit and she snapped back at me, "Oh yea, and your daughter had a big role in it. There's some big trouble coming to them." So immediately I knew it was D1's bra and really, was quite surprised. She just isn't the kind of kid that would do that (just like Skinkis said of these kids)... too afraid of getting in trouble. So I ran into D's friend who was playing the dentist before the second act and asked him how hard the director been on them. He immediately volunteered to me that D had backed out at the last moment and begged them not to put the bra out, but he had anyway (I suspect that in talking about it several days before, she thought it would be a cool thing to do, then as the time got close, she began to fret about it), against her wishes. He tried to tell the theatre director that it was all his fault, but she laid into D anyway, leading her to tears. He apologized to me and felt really bad that D was taking the brunt of it despite his confession. To this day, it still aggravates me that this director took it all out on D, and never apologized for humiliating her in front of the cast when someone else stepped forward and admitted guilt. </p>

<p>I realize a senior prank like this cannot be compared to the one done at Bartlett High School, but whenever I see the words, "He/she is a good kid... this was totally not expected of him/her," I am reminded of D's involvement in this bra prank, and know how horrified she was when she tried to get the bra back and her friend wouldn't give it to her. So I do know that good kids do stupid things and sometimes they haven't had any disciplinary problems prior to one event. Do you think that should be taken into consideration by the administration when contemplating the consequences?</p>

<p>This kid at Barlett is getting flamed, as he should be, but everyone (the comments following the article) jumps to assumptions that he obviously is a bad seed and this is just the first time he's been caught.</p>

<p>If all your D experienced was embarasment and tears for supplying the bra, then her punishment wasn't so bad IMO.</p>

<p>Did you read the face book page titled "Baby Oil: The #1 Killer of Bartlett High School"?
Some nasty language there. Really pretty shocking attitudes. The guilty fellow did post an apology. Tough luck for him, IMO - he screwed up, he should pay. Do they mitigate punishment for first time murders?</p>

<p>Treetopleaf - I tried to find the FB page, but couldn't. What search did you use?</p>