Recent incidents of pranks at AHS have caused discontent among students, teachers, and administrators alike.
The most infamous pranks are the stink bombs, which have been set off in the foyer, the cafeteria, and even in front of classrooms. Other incidents include the use of universal remotes to control classroom projectors and televisions in the cafeteria.
Assistant Principal Seide described the stink bombs as “frustrating for the student body,” but went on to say, “We adults in the building appreciated how students were proactive about vocalizing their discontent…. That’s student leadership — that’s what we want to see students do at AHS.”
According to Seide, the stink bombs were extremely disruptive, causing nausea among victims, sometimes rendering them unable to enjoy their lunches or make use of class time.
Seide believes that it was primarily the peer pressure of other students that caused the lull in stink bomb usage, saying, “Peer pressure cuts two ways. There’s also positive peer pressure, which helps prevent pranks in a learning community.” He stated that teachers are most concerned with antics that disrupt the learning environment, or become otherwise disrespectful or demeaning in any way. Pranksters who are apprehended will be punished on a case-by-case basis.
Opinions on why students decide to prank differed. Seide suspects the desire stems from numerous factors, citing a combination of insecurity, frustration, and the natural tendency of adolescents to rebel. However, the underlying reason for a certain prankster was simpler.
“I pranked because I got bored,” said Class of 2013 alumni Ashwin Murali, who feels that his pranks provided a source of entertainment for AHS. With a litany of offenses under his belt, Murali’s misdemeanors ranged from the distribution of universal remotes to the creation of a Wi-Fi network to view anime and Netflix.
Victims of his pranks were less than amused. The first casualty was chemistry teacher Ms. Iannuccilli, who had to contend with the presence of universal remotes in her classroom for a single day. Murali switched the projector on and off during lessons, interrupting the learning process for several minutes at a time. The remotes changed hands numerous times, and allowed Murali’s tomfoolery to spread throughout the school.
A stink bomb during dismissal on March 11 prompted Jeffrey Gilkie, junior, to think deeply about the perpetrators. Gilkie came up with a theory, saying, “Perhaps stink bombs harness the personality of the person throwing them to create such a putrid smell.”
By Dylan Zhang