Assassins game comes under fire

It’s all fun and games until you have to pick up the darts…


Annie O'Connell and Penelope Winton

Nerf guns may be banned on campus, but students get sneaky in the parking lot in the ‘safety’ of their cars.

It’s December 21st, 2015 and four Lakeville students are rooted in the middle of a car chase, desperate for a kill in the hopes of advancing in the Assassins ranks. Nerf guns are locked and loaded in the backseat. None of the boys are wearing seatbelts and the driver has his mind set on winning. It’s a recipe for disaster, and disaster certainly strikes.

Fast-forward to the next day’s headlines: a car crash leads to the death of two Lakeville teens, Johnny Price and Jake Flynn, with two others in critical condition. While the community’s interests were initially dedicated to comforting the boys’ families and friends, residents soon questioned the school in its support of the ‘deadly’ game. But was Assassins really responsible for the accident?

When asked to giver her opinion on the student-lead tournament, 9th grade dean Jen Vance notes, “I can see where kids have fun with the strategy, finding people and figuring out how to surprise people, but… I had concerns before about safety, with people driving cars and trying to surprise people.” With kids of her own as well as an entire freshman class to watch over, Vance certainly sees the game in all of its risks, adding, “It’s hard to say absolutely ban it or it’s totally fine and everybody can play it, but as a dean, I worry about kids’ safety in all sorts of ways… at Blake we’ve seen poor outcomes nearly every year.”

While safety is certainly an issue, as a student I support the continuation of the game. Although the crash was a devastating blow to the metro community, a single extremity shouldn’t be an end to all the fun. People have died tragically from football and yet it hasn’t stopped the whole country from idolizing the sport. If the students had taken better safety precautions like wearing seatbelts or generally making smarter decisions (such as avoiding a chase scene) the tragedy may have been avoided. Sean LeBlanc ‘18 agrees, stating, “If students want to make bad decisions and take the game too far, then that’s their fault, not the game’s.”

Assassins can’t be put to blame as a result of an individual’s poor decision, and the crash should serve as a reminder to all students participating that things can go wrong in an instant. Just remember, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.