As homecoming season continues to ramp up, so are the high school pranks that end up making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

High school homecoming pranks are a tradition as old as high school itself. Classic antics like toilet papering homes, putting toilets in yards, or using shoe polish to leave messages on car windows are still some of the most popular pranks among high schoolers.

But in recent years, teens have continued to up the ante, causing school and local law enforcement agencies to put out annual reminders that vandalism will not be tolerated and, in some cases, prosecuted.

Earlier this week, Rayne High School warned students that using "items like ketchup, eggs, mayonnaise, and peanut butter are unacceptable and are damaging personal property."

Most pranks start out harmless, but every now and again someone decides to cross the line, resulting in damages and clean-up that is anything but fun.

Even when pranks go too far, some parents will avoid getting law enforcement involved—but sometimes other parents end up getting dragged into the mix when major damage is done.

For instance, a situation in Mississippi last week involved a group of high school pranksters who dumped shredded paper into a pool and ended up killing the pump. One mom gave the parents of the kids who were responsible for the damages 24 hours to come forward before reporting the incident to the police.

Vandalism isn't the only thing that is ruining high school homecoming pranks. A Cincinnati High School made headlines after students allegedly cast votes as part of a mean-spirited prank to crown a trans sophomore as homecoming princess.

But instead of letting the situation have a negative impact, the student decided to own her crown and celebrate despite the fact that winning the crown was part of a prank meant to mock her in front of the whole school.

This reminds me of a local prank I saw this week where a mom mentioned that she woke up to homecoming pranks at her family home. It was the third time that week their house was hit with toilet papering, very NSFW artwork drawn with condiments, sardines, and tuna all over their patio, hot dogs in condoms, and wood shavings on their vehicles.


But none of that stuff really bothered her. As a matter of fact, her kids were out toilet papering houses this week as well; but the one thing that put a stain on the fun was a message that taunted her daughter for not making the cheer team.


When I asked her about the message, she told me her daughter had been a cheerleader since 6th grade but didn't make the team her senior year. While it wasn't the end of the world, there was allegedly a group of teens that have taken every opportunity to throw it in her daughter's face.

Honestly, I don’t mind any of it besides the mean-spirited things. It’s a tradition so I get that these kids are just having fun mostly. The personal thing is what crossed the line for me.

While it sucked to wake up to that message, her daughter will be fine; but what that Lafayette mom said really resonated with me because it was very clear that she wasn't against the pranking.

As a matter of fact, it could tell she enjoyed it almost as much as her kids, but one mean-spirited personal message was kind of a buzzkill on all of the fun stuff.


And let me tell you, it's even harder to complain about things like this because we live in a world where a lot of people get attacked for being offended or upset, so oftentimes they just internalize it and keep moving.

For instance, a message from this Facebook user advised anyone who takes issue with being pranked, having property vandalized, or being offended to simply "laugh it off."

I'm actually going to agree with her statement–but only for about 95% of these pranks that are actually harmless, easy to clean up, and genuinely pulled off in good fun.

The other 5% (I'm literally just making up math at this point) of the pranks that are mean-spirited or end up costing folks hundreds of dollars (or more) to repair or clean up are done by people who get to hide behind the cloak of "high school kids that are just having fun."

Is this a post saying that high school pranks should stop? Absolutely not. Let's be honest, it actually feels cool to be recognized; have your house wrapped and be pranked at the delight of your friends, and make memories that you'll probably cherish for a lifetime.

Let's just scrap the mean stuff and keep the party going.

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