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Water Warriors

By Jackso Hoy, Copy Chief

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Assassins, a non-school sanctioned game played every year by members of the senior class, has come under fire from district officials.
On March 30, parents of seniors at LHS and Free State received a letter via email describing the game, the concerns held by both schools’ administrations and the district, and potential punishment for students who play the game on school grounds.

The letter describes the game succinctly: “[S}tudents pay an entry fee to play. They are assigned a peer as a target, and then they attempt to shoot that target with a water gun within a given time. The last student standing wins the money collected.”

In an email interview, interim USD 497 superintendent Anna Stubblefield said the letter was intended to share concerns as well as inform students the game can’t be played on school property.

“We indicated in the letter we did not have any jurisdiction outside of school and school sanction events,” Stubblefield said. “However, we felt it was our responsibility to communicate to parents the concerns we had as well as those shared by community members and parents.”

Students said the letter affected participation levels. But while many seniors were scared off by the letter, senior Calvin DeWitt chose to play in spite of the potential consequences.

“I understood their concerns, I just wanted to play the game and have some fun, because it is a fun game,” he said.

One aspect of the letter that stood out to many was a comment about how Assassins seems to counter movements against school violence that have gained steam in recent months.

“The Assassins game is of particular concern to us at a time in our community, and our country, when school violence weighs heavy on our hearts and is at the forefront of our minds,” the letter reads. “We have been proud to watch students step up as articulate and committed advocates for school safety. The playing of this game seems counter to those admirable efforts.”

Students playing the game believe there are positives to it that the letter glosses over.

“I think it’s a good bonding activity,” senior Megah Shah said. “I think people really get to know each other. It’s just fun. It’s a good way to end the year.”

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Water Warriors