Students entering Grady’s parking lot in August 2004 saw a chilling warning placed there by members of the senior class—a dead possum had been hung over the entrance. It was the first in several senior pranks planned and executed by the spirited class of 2005.
Perhaps second only to “Senior Skip Day,” the senior prank has been an American tradition long cherished by teens and dreaded by school administrators. It is a tradition, however, that may be dying at Grady. Grady has been host to several senior pranks—ranging from innocent to sinister to silly—but members of the Grady family haven’t been treated to any major tricks in several years … begging the question: are we due for a good senior prank or are we better off without them?
2005: ANIMAL PRANKS
The possum prank was not the last animal-related trick pulled off in 2005. Seniors also went into every bathroom in the school and placed live goldfish in all of the toilets. Former Grady literature teacher Scott Stephens obviously hadn’t watched Finding Nemo and seen that, since all drains lead to the ocean, the toilet is the best place for captured fish. Concerned for the safety of the fish in the toilets, Stephens went into many bathrooms in the school and retrieved them from the porcelain pots to be kept as pets.
2006: GRAFFITI AND GLUE
APS board member-elect and 2006 Grady senior Matt Westmoreland still recalls the pranks pulled by his senior class.
“Folks graffitied the steps between the gyms,” he said. “They glued the doors shut.”
Westmoreland, however, was not impressed with his class’s pranks.
“Frankly, the pranks I remember were pretty weak,” he said.
Seniors also took a page out of the previous class’s playbook. Westmoreland said that seniors placed goldfish in the bathrooms. This time, however, they were placed in the sinks, not the toilets.
2008: TRIPLE PUNCH
Before school began in early August of 2007, seniors placed buckets and sand spelling out “Summer isn’t over” in the courtyard. Seniors also found an abandoned toilet on the side of the road. They painted the toilet gold and hung it on the stadium with a banner reading “Seniors are the sh*t.”
Rounding out their triple threat of pranks, senior videographers recorded freshmen answering questions such as, “What is the oldest grade in the school?” and “What grade are you in?” After having video of the answers, the directors changed the questions but retained the answers. The response “seniors” came after questions like, “Who is the best grade in the school?” and “Who do you wish you were?” and the “freshmen” answer came after derogatory questions.
2009-2013: THE DROUGHT
Despite ambitious plans, senior classes in recent years have not pulled any major stunts. The closest thing to a successful stunt was in 2012, when seniors turned the large pencil on the Eighth Street entrance into a pen with aluminum foil.
Seniors may have foresaken pranks because they realize that while they may be fun in high school, after graduation, most alumni find that pranks are not very memorable.
“I don’t even remember if any were done,” 2012 Grady alumna Abena Amoakuh said. “The line between reality and movie is kind of blurred.”