Nevada Union on senior prank watch |

Nevada Union on senior prank watch

With graduation on Saturday, security at Nevada Union High School is on high alert to prevent any possible senior pranks, Principal Marty Mathiesen said Thursday.

The school has taken precautions, including hiring security personnel round-the-clock, using more than 50 surveillance cameras across campus and warning students against activities that could bar them from attending graduation, Mathiesen said.

Over the years, NU officials have witnessed a wide range of senior pranks – from students spray-painting walls to someone driving a car into the swimming pool, Mathiesen said.

“The term ‘senior prank’ itself alludes to some kind of tradition,” Mathiesen said. “But to me, it’s synonymous with vandalism. I understand the idea, but I can’t justify damage to school property and time taken from our maintenance people in fixing the mess.”

NU spends between $500 to $1,000 every year repairing damage caused by senior pranks, Mathiesen said.

Vandalism that costs more than $400 in damage is considered a felony under California law, Mathiesen said.

“I don’t insulate my students from the penal code,” he said.

Anyone caught in the act of vandalism will be reported and charged, he added.

“I’ve talked to the seniors about making good decisions at the end of the year,” Mathiesen said. “I tell them it’s a privilege to walk, not a right. It’s a dignified ceremony about your accomplishments. But it’s important to our community, parents and the school staff. I won’t allow anyone to take away the dignity of the ceremony.”

About 550 seniors will graduate from NU this Saturday in a ceremony starting at 9 a.m. at Hooper Stadium.

To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail or call 477-4229.

n The Bear River High School graduation ceremony starts at 7 p.m. today at J. David Ramsey Field in southern Nevada County.

n The Nevada Union High School graduation ceremony starts at 9 a.m. Saturday at Hooper Stadium in Grass Valley.

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