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  • Larissa Martin

Why Senior Pranks And Bullying Are NOT Funny

By

Larissa Martin

-

Jun 22, 2023


It’s the time of the year when many high school seniors plan a senior prank, wanting to end their legacy at their school. But during my senior year, I did not find our senior prank funny. 

As someone with multiple disabilities, students decided to pull the fire alarm when it was pouring rain outside. I was in my power chair on this day, and the rain damaged it to the point where it would no longer work. I had to have my chair pushed all day for the last couple of weeks of school, which was cumbersome. The extreme inconvenience also made things difficult.

This bullying took away my independence. My family and I did not find this funny at all. 

Recently, Tay’Shawn Landry, a Louisana high school student, experienced horrific bullying disguised as a senior prank. Students mocked Tay’Shawn, who has cerebral palsy and is a wheelchair user, for his slurred speech. Even worse, other students took his powered wheelchair on a stroll on campus.

They took his independence away for a laugh, but it wasn’t funny. This incident traumatized Tay’Shawn and changed the start of his high school career. The school should hold these students accountable for what they did. 

But so far, these seniors have faced no repercussions. 

These kids will finish their high school careers and go into the world. They could do something like this with a more dangerous outcome. If the school decides to hold some accountability for their actions, then the students who did this may understand the weight of their actions. Unfortunately, the school is not doing anything. 

Two individuals in the community have set up a GoFundMe page for Tayshawn’s medical needs, which raised $9,480 to assist in buying a new wheelchair. Before this, Tayshawn used loaner wheelchairs; now, he has a new power chair of his own. Since power wheelchairs are custom-made for that specific individual and their needs, loaner wheelchairs may not function as optimally as one specifically built to that individual’s needs would.

Mobility aids like wheelchairs are costly, so this prank had costs on Tayshawn’s mental and financial health. 

This would be the prime reason for the saying, “Treat others how you want to be treated.” If the roles were reversed, I am sure those students would not have appreciated being treated that way. Schools need to have more substantial standards against bullying; they can easily implement this by understanding the physical, mental, and social consequences faced by victims. No one should have to experience what Tayshawn did, especially in the name of a so-called prank.

Photo by Antor Paul on Unsplash




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