Make SRHS Pranks Great Again


Landy Monitto, Contributor

Jose De La Rosa, a San Rafael alumni and the current Athletic Director of SRHS, filled the whole LA building with balloons for his senior prank in 2012. Balloons covered the entire building from upstairs to downstairs, giving the students a good laugh and a cherished memory.

At SRHS, pranks have been a yearly tradition, but unfortunately, as time has gone on, the pranks have become mundane and tiresome, ultimately changing the culture of SRHS.

SRHS used to take pride in their pranks, and the seniors were so eager to take part in such a fun and memorable tradition.

As high school has evolved students have started to care more about getting caught and are less likely to take a risk, even if the prank is harmless.

De La Rosa spoke to me about why students have a higher risk of getting caught, “I think your generation has a fascination with recording everything, so it is a lot easier to get you guys in trouble when everything is recorded. The prank is about school spirit not about getting it for your social media.”

Teens care more about publicizing what they do rather than living in the moment which makes it all the more easy to get caught. Everyone wants to post, share, and tag their friends in whatever they are doing. As a result of this, administrations or teachers can find it or ask students to show them their phones, putting students at a higher risk of getting caught. They get drawn into social media, trying to show off to their followers. There is nothing wrong with capturing the moment, but when it comes to pranks, where the element of surprise is important, those moments don’t need to be broadcasted.

In previous years students cared less about getting caught so they performed dangerous pranks. Terry Bauer, SRHS alumni, was one of those students to take a risk. I sat down with Jonah Bauer, the nephew of Terry Bauer and a current senior at SRHS, to ask him about his uncle’s “prank.”

His uncle originally lived in San Francisco but had to move to San Rafael his senior year, and in return for agreeing to move, his parents bought him a motorcycle. This was the beginning of a very memorable prank. “During finals week him and a buddy, who also had a motorcycle, starting ripping through the hallways, leaving these big ass burnouts and skid marks,” Jonah tells us, “He forgot to cover up his license plate and so they tracked him down super quick and they got in hella trouble. The administration made him clean up the skid marks, but they couldn’t get them off, so they told him he couldn’t graduate. That’s all I know, but he did end up graduating…”

After reaching out to alumni of Marin schools, many of them shared their memorable pranks their senior class did. A previous class of SRHS put a cow in the upstairs LA building; former TL students switched two teachers’ classrooms by moving everything that was inside each room into the other; another group of SRHS alumni had put a VW Bug, one of the teacher’s cars, in the swimming pool.

These pranks would be much harder to get away with nowadays because of social media and cameras. Although, in the eyes of students, it is all because of how strict our administration is.

Nina Dell’Angelica, a senior at SRHS, shared her opinion about why there is such a decline of senior pranks, “There are more rules and consequences for our actions. Staff also takes things more seriously than they used to, and it ruins all the fun.”

Bauer wants to have a fun time at the end of senior year, but as the world has changed, he also believes that the administration should let kids just be kids. He says, “People, in general, have to care less about what kids do wrong, there is nothing you can get away with anymore. Our parents always talk about, ‘Oh ya I did this when I was a kid’ and it’s crazy but we can’t do anything now because there are cameras.”

As a result of this belief, seniors choose not to work together to figure out a prank, or the prank is small and only a few seniors are involved.

The SRHS class of 2019 did not work together and as a result, the prank was quite unpopular. They simply put dildos on the statue and building. Many thought the prank was lame and many had little knowledge that any prank had even happened.

In my eyes, it seems teens want to do pranks that are extravagant and risky, such as vandalizing the walls of a school or setting off firecrackers in the hallways. Unfortunately, because of students far fetched ideas, they never end up pursuing anything because they believe, “go big or go home”. They have fantasies of legendary pranks but know they can never perform them without getting in trouble. This has resulted in insignificant and unplanned senior pranks at SRHS.

Students need to understand that pranks can still happen and be legendary but they have to incorporate some common sense. De La Rosa shares a bit more about what should be considered when planning a prank, “Well it shouldn’t target an individual or a specialized group, it should be an overall school prank. Second, I think safety is a big issue, it shouldn’t be a prank where someone could get hurt, I think it should be something visible but that doesn’t necessarily interfere with school.”

In order for pranks to thrive once again, students need to understand how far is too far. The fact is, you can always get in trouble, but if the prank isn’t harmful, the school won’t actively try so hard to find who was behind. To many students, it appears administration could ease up during a senior prank, but the reality is, as long as students stay away from social media and don’t interfere with the safety of other students or staff, senior pranks can be great again.