Deans and teachers shut down an attempted food fight seniors tried to hold as a final senior prank on the last day of school, May 29. They confiscated water balloons, water guns, silly string and food in efforts to stop the fight.
“None of the students I confronted really put up an argument,” science teacher Wendy van Norden said. “They knew that what they were doing was wrong.”
“It’s incredibly wasteful and disrespectful to the people who make the food and to [seniors’] parents, who have to foot the bill for all the food,” dean Beth Slattery, who was accidently hit with food, said. “Even more disappointing was the fact that almost everyone just sat there and watched as the adults cleaned their mess.”
Slattery added that although students claimed that they would clean up after the fight, she saw very little evidence of that actually happening. Additionally, maintenance workers had to hose down the quad in order to clean up the mess.
“I understand that kids have worked really hard and want to let loose a little, but I’m not sure I understand why that gives them the right to throw food at their classmates,” Slattery added.
Chief Financial Officer Rob Levin echoed similar thoughts to Slattery calling the behavior “clearly thoughtless, rather than mean-spirited.”
“[Harvard-Westlake] kids ought to have fun; they need to have fun,” he said. “But they’re smart enough to figure out how to do so in a way that doesn’t cause collateral damage to big-hearted folks on the maintenance staff who strive only to serve and support.”
Sophomores and juniors were warned of a potential food fight earlier in the day in an email sent from Director of Student Affairs Jordan Church who cautioned students to “proceed with caution.”
“Find a way to blow off steam and have fun that doesn’t make work for other people,” Head of Upper School Audrius Barzdukas advised the incoming senior class regarding their prank next year. “You should really go for it, but be considerate of others.”