Senior pranks let school down

Diego Lopez, Staff Writer

   The Urban School of San Francisco suffers from senior pranks that don’t appeal to the entire student body. The senior class is restricted by rules enforced by the Head of Student Life, Charlotte Worsley. The pranks must be approved by Worsley as well as Dawn Jefferson, the 11th/12th Grade Dean, and Head of School Mark Salkind.

   According to Worsley, the pranks started as most senior pranks do at other schools, where the students would sneak in and do something without the knowledge of the heads of school. The students would convince a teacher to let them in on the weekend and the prank would leave a mess in the school. The prank would always occupy the entire school and take a long time to clean up.

   “They were mostly tasteful but destructive,” Worsley said. One of the most horrific pranks for Worsley was when students snuck into school and hung a tarp in the old library light well between the first and second floors. They filled it with water and goldfish, creating a small hanging pond, eventually killing the fish.

   Shortly after 1990, students were caught drinking during the senior prank and got in trouble. In the early 1990s, the school was trying to build a new building and needed to have good relations with the neighbors.

   “If anyone lets the seniors in this year, I will fire them,” was allegedly Salkind’s message, according to Worsley. Some of the most frequently proposed pranks that Worsley shuts down involve people getting arrested and fake fire or other alarms.  “There can be no second guessing around safety protocol,” Worsley said.

   The past three years’ pranks have been disappointing. They have been fun for the seniors but annoyed the rest of the student body more than any comedic value they bring.

   In 2015, Urban School seniors swapped with University High School seniors.

   “We had done it before in ‘95 or ‘96. The students that year came up with the idea of swapping with Lick Wilmerding High School and it was great. It made the newspaper…. And I’ve always been been trying to get them to do it ever since,” said Worsley. Unfortunately, a few students ruined the day by vandalizing the University campus.

   Worsley said, “We can probably never do it again. I hate it when the students ruin it for the future classes.”

   In 2016, students slept over at Urban and were in the halls and classrooms in the morning when people showed up for class. The “prank” was just a fun night for the seniors to hang out at school. There was no joke beyond the initial confusion when we arrived at school.

   Worsley said, “Kids have wanted to [sleep at school] for years” and she finally gave in because it was the last year of having one building.

   In 2017 students created “Club 17,” a fake club for seniors only. This left the majority of Urban students waiting in line outside of school being bossed around by seniors acting as bouncers until they were finally allowed to go to class. The highlight of the prank was the music playing over the loudspeakers when students finally got in the building.

   Remember to keep the pranks funny and witty. Make them fun not just for the seniors involved, but everyone who has to deal with it as well. The pranks are a chance to bring together the entire school for a day of confusion and fun but they are currently being wasted.