School administrators call senior assassins game 'hypocritical' after walk out

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FILE PHOTO (missyredboots/Morguefile license: https://morguefile.com/license)

The tag-like game of assassins has been a rite of passage at Franklin High School, but this year administrators are trying to do away with it.

The game is played by seniors and the premise is simple – shoot another student assigned to you as a target with silly string or a water gun to eliminate them. Don't get shot and you continue to advance.

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“We’ve been doing it for so long that it’s just become a tradition so it’s something we want to keep doing,” Paige Ringer, a senior at Franklin HS, said.

That tradition is now in jeopardy after school officials explained that they want it to end, even though it's not affiliated with or sanctioned by the school.

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In light of recent events like the Parkland school shooting and the subsequent walkout by students across the country, including at Franklin High School, the game appears hypocritical. [Read the full letter below]

Students told Boston 25 News they never looked at how the game and the school shooting were tied together.

“At the end of senior year kids are just excited to do it again, so they didn’t really make the connection between all the school shootings that have been happening,” Ringer said.

While students now understand the school’s concern, putting a stop to the game might not be so simple.

“I know the kids like to do it. It’s kind of a fun traditional thing that they’ve done in past years,” Melissa Ringer, Paige’s mother, said. “They could probably think of something different to do after the Florida issue.”

FULL LETTER FROM FRANKLIN HS ADMINISTRATORS:

Good Afternoon Class of 2018 Panther Families!!

Finally, we discussed what has become an unofficial tradition at Franklin High School: the game known as Senior Assassin or Paranoia. Historically, this has been a game organized by members of the senior class where students are assigned a classmate they are supposed to “assassinate” with water guns and/or silly string while “staying alive” themselves. Included in our discussion was:

  • While this game traditionally “was in no way affiliated with Franklin High School” in recent years FHS/FPS has lost plausible deniability
  • In light of recent events, especially the recent walkouts from earlier this month, it appears hypocritical for our students to walkout of school in a symbolic protest of gun violence and then to turn around and glorify similar instances in a game
  • We shared our concerns of their own personal safety as well as the safety of other members of the Franklin community (car chases, hiding on rooftops, hunting one another after dark)
  • We shared our concerns that the game has impacted school attendance and classroom focus
  • We shared our concerns that places of employment, homes, and satellite FHS locations used for athletic events/practices are impacted
  • We reminded students that any participation in the game on or around school grounds will result in disciplinary consequences

We concluded by asking our students to refrain from playing this game due, in part, to the reasons listed above. We recognize that this may be fun for many of the students involved, but it is the opinion of Franklin High School that the risks far outweigh the benefits. It is our hope that we will continue to work together as a school staff, parents, and community to find safe ways for our students to bond with one another and celebrate their personal and collective achievements as we head toward graduation on June 1st.

Sincerely,

FHS Administration

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