Janice Morse reports:
Principals at both Lakota high school warned parents on Tuesday: Don’t let your teen wind up in a dangerous – or embarrassing – predicament while playing “Nerf Wars.”Lakota West High School principal Elgin Card and Lakota East High School principal Suzanna Davis sent emails to parents of both schools, hoping to head off problems that could arise from the game. Teens across the nation have been playing it in various forms since at least the 1980s.
Armed with Nerf dart guns, players stalk each other and shoot, sometimes while driving in cars – and apparently the game can involve disrobing completely, Card said. “Students have developed rules to avoid being ‘shot,’ which include situations such as being at school or being nude in public,” his email reads.
Such scenarios could land students in traffic crashes or legal trouble for trespassing or public indecency. Worse yet, a Nerf Wars player could be mistaken for a real gunman while running through yards and down streets, Card said. That could result in “dangerous consequences,” or an actual shooting, he said in an interview, adding, “that’s my biggest concern.”
In one incident last year or the year before, a group of Lakota West students was involved in a traffic crash, “and subsequently arrested for being nude at the time,” Card’s email said. “We want to avoid our students finding themselves in this type of legal situation.”
In addition, business owners have lodged complaints about “carloads of kids (some dressed, some not) in their parking lot,” Card wrote.
No specific incident this year prompted Card to send the advisory to parents, he said. Rather, Card said he decided to spread the word after learning that the local game “had already started,” and after receiving inquiries from parents and staff members.
Also, many parents may be unaware of the game – or, if they do know about it, they could mistakenly believe it is somehow associated with the school. It’s not. Card’s email tells parents: “Nerf Wars is NOT a school-sanctioned or organized event.”
Further, he says: “Lakota West does not condone this activity because of the heightened potential for bad decisions that could put kids in harm’s way. Anytime there are kids chasing other kids in cars, we are concerned.”
Card encourages parents to talk to their teens about the situation. “None of us want to see any of our students injured or in trouble,” he wrote.
Although students at a number of other schools, such as Sycamore High School in Hamilton County and Mason High School in Warren County, have been known to play the game, Card said he didn’t know whether any other local administrators have sent similar messages to parents.