Congratulations, class of 2006. You managed to survive four years of high school and whatever amusing-but-probably-irresponsible-and-possibly-illegal pranks you decided to pull on the eve of graduation. Because students were extra-creative with their mischief this year, we've compiled a list of the most elaborate pranks nationwide; but first, a disclaimer from a few teen psychologists:
"Growing up is scary, and so [teens] want to have some silly fun," said University of Illinois clinical professor Judy Tellerman. "But I don't think you should lump malicious actions with senior pranks."
"They're trying to say, in two words: Seniors rule," said Dr. Neil Bernstein, a teen psychologist and the author of "How to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do If You Can't." "What it symbolizes is, 'I'm outta here. I'm off to college. I'm entitled to do this. It's a lot of fun.' "
OK, you've been warned — as usual, don't try this at home. Now, let's see what you came up with this year.
- Danger, Mouse!
Cinco Ranch High School
Four graduating seniors left the home of the Cougars with a game of cat-and-mouse. After rounding up an estimated 150 rodents from local pet stores, the students zipped the creatures into their backpacks and set them free in the senior hallway minutes before the school's first bell. "The rumor is they only caught, like, 38 of them," said Beau Warren, 18, who was not involved. "There were mice reports throughout the day." One teacher was rushed home by her husband after she hyperventilated at the sight of the [mice]. A mouse bit another faculty member when she tried to recover it, leading her to drive to her doctor's office for a rabies shot. "The nurses were teasing her about what happened," said one CRHS teacher who wished to remain anonymous. "She was back by third period." Although details of the students' punishments have remained confidential (Principal Bonnie Brasic declined to comment), some have said the students had to pay for the expenses incurred in trapping the mice. In the end, all four seniors walked at graduation, leaving a legacy behind them. "This was the first big prank at our school," Warren said. "All the students thought it was hilarious."
- A Half-Baked Stunt
Lake Highlands High School
Nineteen teachers probably wished they were on the Atkins Diet on May 16. Had they sworn off carbs, they would have bypassed the bran muffins in the teachers' lounge — along with a hospital visit. Ian Walker, an 18-year-old from nearby Bishop Lynch High School, delivered a marijuana-laced batch of muffins to the school and said the baked goodies were part of an Eagle Scout project. Lake Highlands senior Joseph Tellini, 18, participated in the prank, although the degree of his contribution remains unknown. In the end, 18 dizzy and nauseous teachers were treated at hospitals, the stunt triggered a terrorism investigation and the FBI charged both teens with five counts of assault of a public servant. Rachel Raya, spokeswoman for the Dallas County District Attorney's Office, said the state will ask a grand jury to heighten the charge from a third- to a second-degree felony, which carries a punishment of two to 20 years in prison. Both Walker and Tellini missed graduating with their senior classes and will appear in court later this summer.
- The Safety Dance
San Dieguito Academy
Parting gifts for this high school's prom included condoms, or so a letter claimed. A seemingly Photoshop-altered notice sent to parents on May 4 informed them of "California State Bill A.B. No. SR2006," which mandated that parents be informed that their children would be supplied with free contraceptives, in this case, at the prom and all future dances. The memo was printed on a letterhead that resembled the school's official paperwork and carried the forged signatures of principal Barbara Gauthier and Rod Keillor, director of student activities. Gauthier told San Diego's Union-Tribune that she will launch an investigation to sniff out the pranksters, but no one had been caught by graduation day.
- Big-Boy Bandits
South High School
Residents of Torrance found themselves in what seemed like an "Austin Powers" flick when a handful of South High School seniors swiped a seven-foot Bob's Big Boy statue and relocated him atop their school. To do so, they bypassed four lanes of traffic and restaurant security cameras, stumping both police and administrators. This is the first time such a prank has occurred since the eatery reopened in December of last year. "I had adults come up to me, saying, 'We stole this back when we were kids,' " said owner Jim Louder. "I would always joke with them, 'You're on my list!' because I thought their kids would do it." Principal Scott McDowell told The Associated Press, "There's a handful of students walking around really proud of themselves right now," adding that punishment could include suspension and barring from the school's graduation ceremony. Although Bob's vacation cost Louder $800, he remained in good spirits: "If I had to buy a new one, it would've cost me $4,000 to $5,000. I was afraid it was going to end up on eBay."
- Permission Slip-Up
Daniel Hand High School
"Drink responsibly" became the unofficial theme of this year's Daniel Hand prom when seniors sent a permission slip to parents that, if signed, said it would allow each student to drink up to eight alcoholic beverages at the dance. It also indicated a limo service would be provided (price: $150 a head) to curtail drinking and driving. The notice, printed on official school letterhead, promised "a more unproblematic solution" to teens spiking the punch and binge drinking. On the school Web site, principal Barbara Britton posted the following message for concerned parents: "Let me assure you that underage drinking and the serving of alcoholic beverages is not permissible at the senior prom or any sponsored school event." The culprits have yet to be caught and presumably graduated on schedule.
- A 96-Room High School? Priceless
Sylvania Northview High School
On May 31, a hot property resembling, well, a high school came onto Ohio's real estate market. Amenities included an Olympic-sized swimming pool and 96 rooms, plus a gourmet kitchen. "I guess I would call it a 'fixer upper,' to be honest with you," joked principal Kevin Gorman. "The roof leaks, the floors are cracked, so it would be hard to sell — let's put it that way." Seniors draped a blue, two-story tall tarp on the side of the building announcing that Sylvania Northview was "For Sale by the Man" as a way of paying tribute to Gorman, known as "the Man," who is retiring after nine years at the school. The 335 pranksters graduated in June.
- Tea and No Sympathy
Lakeside High School
Hot Springs, Arkansas
Coffee generally beats tea in its diuretic abilities, but a quartet of seniors recently changed that. On May 3, Brad Parham, 18, and Jeff Canterbury, 19, purchased two 12-ounce bottles of Ex-Lax from a Wal-Mart. Eighteen-year-old Mark Turner then dumped the laxative into their teachers' 10-gallon iced tea jug. Harry Keck, 18, finished it off by shaking the container. "About five minutes later, they just took off running," Parham said. "Half of 'em would sit down by the bathroom." The penalty for the prank was severe: The teens were prohibited from taking their finals, which landed them with zeroes. The low grades prohibited two of them from graduating, and all four were suspended for the remainder of the school term. The police charged each of the seniors with insult or abuse of a teacher, an unclassified misdemeanor, which carries a $100 to $1,500 fine. "There's been a couple of people that said that it was stupid, and we should get punished to hell," Parham said. "Most of the people said that [the police] took it way too far."
- The Great Indoors
Foxboro High School
In an attempt to bring the great outdoors inside, three seniors and one junior chopped down nine 5-foot-tall pine trees and created a forest inside a classroom. "And had it been left at that, yes, you would say it was a prank," said police chief Edward O'Leary. "But one of the young gentlemen decided to take a bathroom break in the middle of the classroom floor." The forest/compost pile landed the quartet in court with verdicts pending; however, the three seniors walked at graduation. Even though their lumberjack feat was original, O'Leary said pranks at Foxboro have been going strong since the 1970s.
Be sure to check out "High School Stories: Scandals, Pranks and Controversies" on MTV2 Monday night at 7 p.m. ET.