Senior water fight against code of conduct

Abby Keller

While it may be fun for seniors to pelt all the grades below them with water balloons on their last day of school, I have never seen it that way. Instead I see a terror inducing act of celebration that goes against the code of conduct the school says it’s committed to. 

On the face of it, the water fight sounds like fun. The seniors get to incite a water fight as their last hoorah in high school. They get to band together as one grade, soaking the rest of the students and staff with water. In reality, this one-sided water fight is the seniors’ last chance to annoy everyone, leaving their mark in the least flattering way possible. 

I don’t have anything against the seniors enjoying their last day of high school, but when that fun puts their classmates’ lives in danger, issues arise.

My sister, a senior at the time, had told me she wouldn’t be at school that day, not because she didn’t want to partake in the “fun,” but because doing so could kill her. My sister has a deadly latex allergy, and a few weeks before COVID lockdown, she was rushed to the ER because she came into contact with a balloon in a classroom. The school has a no-latex-balloon policy, but the school warned her they couldn’t enforce that policy well enough to keep her safe on what was supposed to be her last day of high school. 

There are other policies in the student handbook the water fight violates, mainly the section regarding hazing. The school defines hazing “as the use of force or coercion to negatively affect others. This applies to any of the following behaviors: teasing, intimidating, defaming, threatening, terrorizing or retaliation.” I can attest to the intimidating nature of the water fight, plus the sense of coercion, feeling like we have to endure being pelted with water balloons and being sprayed with water guns because the people soaking us are seniors. 

The water fight goes against what the school says it stands for, but it is a longstanding tradition many people are not ready to leave behind. There should be a way of opting out of this tradition, allowing the seniors to have their fun without forcing everyone else to either skip school to avoid it or suffer the consequences. This could be done by giving the seniors a designated area for their water fight like the field, track or courtyard, or simply barring them from being in the parking lot or by the doors waiting for people to leave school.