Nerf assassins sparks concern

Incidents cause conflicting opinions


Junior Justin Lamar waits with his Nerf gun in an effort to “kill” another player in the Nerf assassins game.

Coming home from a friend’s house Wednesday night, senior Anna Gleason said she was shocked when a fellow student jumped on the hood of her car.  

According to Gleason, as part of the Nerf gun game assassins, she was chased on foot and then confronted by another car prior to getting on the highway.

“I was at a stop light on Excelsior about to turn onto (Highway) 100, and (a student) jumped out of his car and got on the hood of my car,” Gleason said. “I was really freaked out, the light was green and there were cars all around me, so I didn’t know what to do.”

Junior Carly Livingston said the game led to issues around her neighborhood.

“There were a bunch of people that were driving up and down my street really fast, pretty recklessly waiting for me and my sister to get home,” Livingston said. “We have a lot of little kids on our street so one of our neighbors came out to try and tell them to knock it off and they were being really rude and (my neighbor) was scared of the driving because he has a little son.”

Park police liaison Max Peltola said students need to stay safe while playing, especially when driving is involved.

“I mean games are games. A kid should have fun and be able to compete and do whatever they want,” Peltola said. “It depends on what you’re doing. If you’re speeding through the neighborhood or running stop signs or things like that it’s different. Usually, it’s good natured.”

Reflecting on her assassins incident, Gleason said she feels concerned for the safety of her fellow classmates.

“That’s the kind of stuff people do that can get them seriously hurt,” Gleason said. “Some people take (assassins) way too seriously. If it’s going to harm you or someone else you shouldn’t go to those lengths.”

Livingston said the game becomes an issue when students don’t adhere to its limits.

“I think what makes (assassins) stressful is people take it too far,” Livingston said. “There’s not a rule that you can make that makes people chill out.”

Assistant Principal Kari Schwietering said the game is not a concern of administration and consequences for violating school policy are in line with the student handbook.

“Whatever the school consequences and policies are, (the administration) would follow that for any activity that students would do,” Schwietering said. “As long as students are being safe and following the handbook, what (they) do outside of school is not something that we look to monitor or have concerns regarding.”

Gleason said although good for class bonding, assassins has its drawbacks.

“(Assassins is) really fun and it’s a good way to have something that involves the whole school and brings people together, but I think some people can take it a little bit too far,” Gleason said.

Junior Lillie Albright said she enjoys spending time with teammates, but is concerned about the violent themes within the game.

“I think it is really fun to be on a team and spend a lot of time together,” Albright said. “The only thing is that the idea of it, the violence aspect, I don’t really like because I’m against that.”

Senior Vincent Callahan said the extensive rules make assassins a safe and enjoyable end of the year activity.

“I feel like there are enough (rules). If you follow the rules that they outline I feel there are more than enough,” Callahan said. “At this point in the year, it’s just a nice way to make the days go faster as we get toward the end of the year.”

Callahan said social media helps with coordination but creates a platform for negative comments.

“(Social media) is very helpful in getting the word out, but it also sucks because people are immature. When you sign up for a game like this and you get (out) you should be (out),” Callahan said. “People tend to whine and complain about it, so it gets pretty annoying on (social media). It’s a good thing and a bad thing.”

According to Gleason, social media gives means for misinterpreting information.

“When you’re arguing over a social media source, what people say can get misinterpreted,” Gleason said. “People can get hurt a lot easier. People are willing to say things that hurt people, and it can escalate arguments too much more than people should be.”

Peltola said keeping community safety in mind is essential.

“The key is no matter whats going on to just understand you’re in a community with others and respect kids in the neighborhood,” Peltola said. “(Also) make sure you’re not driving out of control or jeopardizing another person’s safety for a game.”