Safety at school is required, but let students make memories


The class of 2020 at Senior Sunrise. This annual event conists of the senior class viewing the sunrise from the top of Calavera Mountain. Photo courtesy of Hailey Rutter.

Senior year is a pivotal time for students, and one of the best ways to avoid stress during this taxing time is enjoying the tradition of senior assassins. Every year, the graduating class participates in a game where students band together in pairs to compete for a cash prize. The whole goal of the game is for seniors to shoot water at their targets while avoiding getting out themselves.

This tradition has been carried on for a long time, but recently administration has implemented a rule about senior assassin shenanigans that has been met with mixed feelings. More specifically, the school has banned any senior assassin activity in the school parking lot before, during or after school. Students mainly believe that making the parking lot a ‘safe zone’ makes it too difficult to get their targets out because students can simply drive to and from the parking lot every day and their homes, virtually eliminating any possibility of getting out. But that doesn’t mean the school is in the wrong here. In fact, the school is right to prohibit senior assassin play in the parking lot for a multitude of reasons. 

First and foremost, the parking lot is a safety and liability issue for the school that jeopardizes senior assassins for all future graduating classes. People have been injured in the parking lot from automobiles and other people before; allowing assassin activity in the parking lot only furthers the chances of serious injury. Secondly, although the game is technically not affiliated with the school, someone from the Associate Student Body runs this game every year. If someone were to be seriously injured in the school parking lot, the school is in some part liable by allowing a potentially dangerous, non-regulated, non-educational game to happen among students on school grounds. This is simply a messy situation waiting to happen. And finally, senior assassins is a game. Administration has every right to ensure that students are participating in academically-beneficial activity while at school during any time of the day.

All of the reasons against senior assassins on school grounds begs the question: is there something to be done about senior assassins in general? At first glance, senior assassin activity seems difficult to control and can easily affect the academic lives of students. It’s not unheard of for students to avoid going to school on purge days, skip class early at the end of the day to get to their cars and even stalk people outside their homes during the game. The added stress this game can cause seems to defeat the purpose of introducing the game in the first place and some may wonder at the safety concerns involved

Senior assassins is a time-tried tradition that will live on for the sole reason that high schoolers value the sentimentality of their last high school year. For most seniors, accepting a little bit of annoyance in their lives is worth the memories they create through the tradition of senior assassins. So yes, the school has an obligation and should ensure students are safe on campus. But as to what they do off-campus and in their own lives, let students be part of their best and last hurrah before college and take part in the memory-making experience of senior assassins.