A 'senor' moment for Chimacum school prankster?

CHIMACUM, Wash. -- High school seniors often attempt to spice up the week before graduation with memorable pranks.

But the one played on Chimacum High School over the weekend is one that everyone involved probably will like to forget.

On Monday, school personnel arrived to find two representations of the word "senior" spray-painted on the sidewalks.

Both were misspelled.

One outside the front office read "senor power," while another behind the school was only one word: "seinor."

"I think they were probably in a hurry, since they didn't want to be seen outside the front of the school spray painting the sidewalk," said Principal Whitney Meissner.

"But it doesn't reflect very well on the educational system."

Meissner posted a picture of the misspelling on her Facebook page, where reactions included speculation that the culprit was a fourth-grader out to make the seniors look stupid, and a suggestion for the culprit to face a one-word spelling test before receiving a diploma.

The guilty party still was at large Monday morning.

If the graffiti artist or artists are apprehended, they will be forced to put in "community service" time equivalent to the effort required to clean up the vandalism, Meissner said.

"We want to make sure the punishment fits the act," Meissner said.

"We had some kids Saran-wrap a lot of the bathroom fixtures on Friday. They'll be cleaning up the commons this week.

"This is one of those traditions that everyone does," Meissner said.

"We can all appreciate a good prank, as long as it doesn't involve vandalism or cause the school staff any extra work."

Neither Meissner nor Port Townsend High School Assistant Principal Patrick Kane has seen a particularly malicious prank in the past several years.

Kane said that if a student was caught doing such a prank that qualified as a crime, it would jeopardize the student's graduation.

Many of the pranks are benign: Last year, seniors filled Kane's office with black-and-white balloons.

Kane said that he hadn't seen any pranks this year, "but they usually happen around Wednesday."

Chimacum's graduation begins at 1 p.m. Saturday, while Port Townsend's ceremony is at 7 p.m. Friday.

Both ceremonies take place at McCurdy Pavilion at Fort Worden State Park.

The Peninsula Daily News is a media partner of KOMO News.