Senior tradition tests community’s patience

Kevin Killeen
Editor in Chief

It started about 20 years ago, as a rather innocent tradition where the new senior classmates would “toilet paper” each other’s houses and laugh about it the next day, according to Administration.

Now the tradition known as “Senior Wars” has escalated to a criminal level, as multiple complaints have been reported of students vandalizing and trashing the community on the night of this tradition.

According to Police Officer Erich Weimer, students could face property damage, curfew violation, trespassing or graffiti charges if they are caught participating in “Senior Wars.” Fines could be anywhere from $200-500.

“I hate Senior Wars,” said Weimer. “It’s past the point of funny, and kids are getting charged criminally,” Complaints of property damage, trespassing and the instance where a student fell asleep at the wheel and crashed his car the morning after “Senior Wars” in 2010 have led to the negative reaction to this old tradition by the community.

According to Weimer, the police department always receives dozens of complaints the day after the tradition. “[Senior wars} turns people against high school students, because people are tired, scared, frustrated,” said Webster Groves Mayor, Gerry Welch.

The City of Webster Groves pays for extra police officers on the tradition night, to keep the community clean. “The Police Department is taking a no tolerance stance on this, and even using extra officers that night,” said Weimer.

However, despite the large fines and increased police watch that night, students still insist they will participate and won’t get caught.

 “They can send out all 27 cop cars that night. There’s no way they’re going to catch me,” said an anonymous junior. Even if students do participate on the night of Senior Wars and do not get caught, they could be facing consequences at school as well.

According to Weimer, students will be sent home if they show up wearing inappropriate outfits in the morning. With increased police security and school consequences now pending against those who choose to participate, principal Jon Clark said the tradition has gotten “better in the past five years.”

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