Seniors pull off prank, hope to start school tradition

Students enjoy lunch outside on May 24. Fifty seniors took around three hours the day before to move all of the cafeteria tables and furniture outside and set up the signs.

Cafeteria chairs and tables strewn across the courtyard. Desks wrapped in plastic wrap and turned upside down. Sticky notes and painter’s tape assorted on the wall to form messages like “‘23 WUZ HERE.” Six hundred mini rubber ducks afloat in the pool.

When students arrived on campus Wednesday morning, these were only the first of the peculiarities they witnessed.

Seniors Madelyn Carrillo, Bridget Crossman and Lillian Tan, who call themselves “The Dream Team,” masterminded this elaborate senior prank, discussing their plans in their fourth period forensics class every day for roughly a month.

“It started off with us watching TikToks about senior pranks,” Tan said. “We thought, ‘What are the best options? What can we do that’s within reason and safe, but also fun?’ I asked around and none of the seniors from the class before us had done any [pranks], and we wanted to start a tradition.”

Finally the three seniors got approval from Principal Michael Niggli and Dean of Instruction Debbie Campbell to pull off their prank. They began to raise money by selling $5 cookies Crossman baked to seniors, working to keep the entire plan a secret from the rest of the school.

“We had a private Instagram and Remind that were only for seniors,” Crossman said. “We were checking the yearbook to make sure [other grades] weren’t joining. We also told certain friend groups to spread the word about the senior prank.”

On the evening before May 24, the last regular day of school for seniors, about 50 seniors showed up to execute the prank. The next day, as students began to file into the building for their morning classes, they began to take out their phones to take photos of the spectacles.

During Cardinal Hour, students enjoyed their lunches in the courtyard, playing in a bouncy house and buying popsicles from the PTO. On Main Street, students gathered around a U.S. Marines stand, where a pull-up stand was stationed for students to try their hand and win free prizes.

As the day went on, unplanned pranks occurred. Students scattered toilet paper and water across the floor and threw classwork from the second floor. However, faculty had minimal issue with the mess, and students and teachers quickly absolved it by kicking it into a pile and sweeping the papers up.

At the end of the day, seniors who volunteered to help clean up the planned prank were rewarded with Candelari’s pizza. The restaurant chain delivered 15 16-inch pizzas in support of Bellaire.

“We just wanted students to have fun with the prank, and we wanted to see how underclassmen reacted when they arrived at school,” Carrillo said. “The Dream Team would like to thank Ms. Campbell, Mr. Niggli, Coach Kunz, Coach Johnson, Ms. Underhill and everyone else that helped us plan and execute our senior prank.”