Senior Prank Gets Out Of Hand – Then New Super Takes Charge


Senior Prank Gets Out Of Hand

– Then New Super Takes Charge

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Dr. William Crankshaw

COOPERSTOWN – Bill Crankshaw, Cooperstown Central School superintendent, was at home last Wednesday night when his phone rang.

The traditional senior prank – graduating-class members had been allowed to slip into the Linden Avenue school with the idea of zip-locking lockers to cause consternation among their juniors – had gotten out of hand, he learned.

Moving beyond the original concept, some seniors had moved desks from all the classrooms and stacked them in the hallways, spread some sort of hard-to-remove oil on the cafeteria tables, and sprayed hard-to-remove oil-based paint on the plate glass window that separates the high-school office from the hall.

The new super – he arrived here on Jan. 1 from Remsen Central – hurried to the school and quickly corralled the seniors to clean up their mess.

“I said: This is what needs to be done and we’re going to do it.  And I will stay here to make sure that it’s done,” he said yesterday.  “I stayed until 1 a.m.,” and 30 seniors stayed with him.

“I personally taught some of the girls how to remove that paint,” he said.

“The kids did all the cleaning up. The custodians helped a little bit.   We made all this right,” the educator said, adding, “We helped them see through the harmless part of the prank. I think what started as something harmless became something else.  A majority of seniors are horrified that it got to that point.”

“There was no harm done in the end.”  He expects the seniors will come to see this as a “learning experience.”

When she learned of the situation, CCS board president Theresa Russo said, “I left it to the administration.  I think Bill handled it very well.”

To the degree the senior prank is a tradition, it’s been a low-key one in recent years.  The last that got into the public eye was 11 years ago, when seniors who had been raising mice for months painted them the school colors and released hundreds of them into the halls for their school mates to discover the next morning.

At the time, there were recriminations and suspensions, but Crankshaw said there were not this time around.  “They” – the seniors – “are going to use it as a learning experience.”
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