A white piece of paper hangs on Patty McQuone’s office door. It reads “DO NOT DISTURB. Today is Senior Skip Day. Say no more!” McQuone, the secretary at the front desk, is busy documenting the 200 absences in the senior class.
Her phone is constantly ringing; the red light that indicates a new message continues to flash. “All day, parents have been calling and saying that their child is ‘Not coming in today.’ They don’t want to lie about the reason for their kids missing school, but they don’t want to tell the whole truth,” said McQuone.
Karyn Morgan, the Assistant Principal for the Class of 2012, refers to Senior Skip Day as “something that always happens.”
“It is not a school-sanctioned event. I tell my kids, ‘You’re only seniors once and if you are in good standing in your academics and attendance, make the right decision,’” Morgan said. “I’m not saying do it, but think about it before you do anything. I have students who are at risk for losing credit because they participated in Senior Skip Day.”
According to Morgan, another hallmark of a student’s senior year at Staples is the senior prank. “I’ve been at Staples for 14 years and this is where I first encountered a senior prank. I know of other districts that do it as well, but it was unique to me.”
Christina Richardson, an English teacher, has seen an abundance of good and bad pranks. One of her favorite pranks was the transformation that occurred in Assistant Principal Patrick Micinilio’s office. “A couple of students went into Mr. Micinilio’s office and covered everything with aluminum foil. All of his furniture, walls, and even his pens were covered in it,” she said. “It was really cool to see.”
Morgan also cites this prank as one of her favorites. “Mr. Micinilio still has remnants of the aluminum foil in his office,” she said.
Richardson and McQuone also recall a funny prank that occurred approximately 15 years ago.
“We were still in the old building and all of a sudden the Pink Floyd song, ‘Another Brick in the Wall,’ comes on over the loudspeakers,” McQuone said. “The lyrics ‘We don’t need no education,’ were playing and it was so loud that nobody could hear themselves speak.”
“The music was playing for about 20 minutes and the administration couldn’t figure out where it was coming from or how to shut if off,” Richardson said. “We all thought it was hysterical.”
This year’s senior prank was the courtyard cookout and according to Morgan, no other pranks have been planned with the administration. “I hear rumors all the time, but so far nothing really specific that has been given to me,” she said. “My hope is that is whatever is being planned is done in fun. Students have risked walking at graduation and going to prom to pull off a prank. We don’t want anyone to risk those because they are supposed to be great memories.”
Morgan, Richardson, and McQuone all send a similar message to students: don’t hurt anyone or anything. “A couple of years ago they let go birds, bugs and mice. Mice were killed, and it was awful, harmful, dangerous and it was a lot of work for the custodians, which isn’t fair,” Morgan said. “Senior pranks should be in good fun, healthy, and a nice way to end the year. I love my senior class, I have a lot of faith in them, and I trust them.”