Senior pranks carry high price for some students

Ashkan Naderi (Photo: Jummy Olabanji)

Well, it's that time of year again. Time to stash a dead fish somewhere to stink up the school hallways. Time to drop tennis balls on the heads of people in the lobby. Time to cover your soon-to-be alma mater with Post-It notes.

For high school seniors, it's prank time. But there are consequences. Herndon senior Ashkan Naderi learned that lesson first hand.

Ashkan is one of two seniors suspended for seven days and who can’t walk in graduation with the rest of his class.

His prank? He admits to putting baby oil in the main hallway of his school on Wednesday. He says the school’s principal explained that someone could have gotten hurt.

“We understand what we did and it was wrong, it was definitely wrong, but the crime does not fit the punishment at the end of the day,” he says. "I just want to walk, that's all I'm going to do at this point."

But students say no one was hurt and the punishment is too extreme, especially for Ashkan, who had never been in trouble and will be going to Penn State in the fall. Students have rallied around the young men - making posters, wearing t-shirts and other signs of support.

The punishment is all the worse for Ashkan because his father is flying into the area from Iran to attend the graduation ceremony.

Fairfax Schools spokesman John Torre said they don't comment on student disciplinary action.

And in the rowdy history of senior pranks, it was relatively benign. Recall the letter sent to parents at California's San Dieguito Academy in 2006, informing them that henceforth condoms would be distributed to students at all dances.

Or the night at New York's Nyack High School, when seniors - with the blessing of their principal - arranged 1,000 school desks on a field to spell out "2008." Then, under cover of darkness, other pranksters (perhaps from the Class of 2009) re-arranged the desks in the shape of a giant penis.

Former students at one high school outside Hartford, Conn., still recall how their principal inadvertently sent them into hysterics after some seniors removed the plastic balls from the computer mice in a school lab.

The principal got on the intercom and began a lengthy speech about needing the "mouse balls" back - a result that even the students hadn't anticipated.

After a secretary interrupted him, he stammered and continued by asking for "the apparatus necessary for the computer mice."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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