By Boyd C. Allen

Pilot Staff Writer

After a senior prank Tuesday upset students and staff, Brookings-Harbor High School Principal Lisa Dion gave the students involved a warning, barred future pranks and promised discipline for any future pranks, according to district Public Information Officer Nancy Raskauskas-Coons.

Senior Jeremy Pettinger said the seniors initiated their first prank of the year with the administration’s knowledge.

“Seniors were dressed in black, and we left class,” he said. “A staff member near the office said we had four minutes and then we ran down the halls slamming doors.”

Teachers had been informed of the prank in an email sent Sunday night, according to Pettinger.

He said, “As we ran the halls, the PA system played the alarm from the movie “The Purge” and someone turned the lights off in the whole school.

A film synopsis online said “The Purge” depicts a night in an America ravaged by crime and overcrowded prisons where the government sanctions an annual 12-hour period during which all criminal activity –– including murder –– is legal.

Several students went to counseling after the prank because they were scared or upset, according to Pettinger.

Addressing concerns there was a lockdown-type situation while the alarm was sounding and that several students went to the guidance office because they were frightened or alarmed, Coons said, “There was no lockdown or evacuation at Brookings-Harbor High School on Tuesday.

“During the regularly scheduled announcement time, some students went off-script with a creepy and alarming message for the school as part of a self-proclaimed senior class prank.”

Administrators and teachers had been alerted that some sort of prank might be happening at that time, she added, but students were not aware and some students and staff were concerned or unhappy with the message played over the intercom.

Dion was not present the day of the prank but met with the students involved the following day, according to Coons. At the meeting, Dion took responsibility for not stopping the prank after receiving word it might be in the works.

School officials did not respond to requests for comment when asked how teachers and staff were informed about the prank or if students went home or to the guidance office after the prank.

Reach Boyd C. Allen at ballen@currypilot.com .

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