Is the Senior “Senior Assassins” Game a Cause for Concern?


Some Senior Assassins players getting “out” of the game

By Angel Casaleggio and Trisha Vyas

When the clock hit 6 a.m. on April 23, seniors all around Wayne Hills were notified who their teams first target was for a game called Senior Assassins. 

This game consists of teams of two, who are assigned what some call “targets”, which they have one week to shoot with water guns on video to eliminate them. 

These teams also have an obligation to dodge those that are attempting to “assassinate” them. 

After close calls with the police, Alex Ferreira, the senior who runs the game this year, has put out a list of more rules saying that no one is allowed to break laws. This prohibits trespassing and driving recklessly, which should be pretty obvious, but clearly some seniors are not cognizant of that. Participants also are not allowed to shoot anyone when they are in a car, moving or in park.

“Obviously safety is the number one priority which is why cars were banned after the incident,” says Alex Ferreira, referring to students driving recklessly (like going the opposite way on a one-way street) to get their targets. “But the seniors wanna play, just like every year before them, and we should be able to. I’m a man of the people. I’m just giving them what they want.” Alex said that he is not liable for students actions, even though he is in charge of creating the rules and  updating the players on who is still in the game.

The game has been a senior rite of passage for many years, but this year it has come under scrutiny by school administration and local officials for endangering students.

Principal Rewick sent out an email to parents and students on April 26 stating that “The issue with this game is that students are doing reckless things that could endanger themselves and others.  For example, last night 3 students were in a driveway at 10 pm waiting for a student playing the game.  Meanwhile, a car is slowly going back and forth up and down the street.  As a parent, you are aware of the terrible possibilities that result from trespassing on someone’s property. Speeding and hanging out of cars can also occur.

We do not condone or support this activity.  No student should ever bring a gun, a water pistol, or any other object on school grounds that resembles a gun or another weapon including the school parking lots, the school grounds, or anywhere at school.  Suspensions and school expulsions could result.”

Finally, the email ended with, “We are in a tense time where people are stressed due to many outside pressures.  We want all of you to be safe.  I urge all of you to cease playing this game immediately.”

Recently, young people were shot by homeowners who were not expecting them on their properties.  In Missouri a few weeks ago, 16-year-old Ralph Yarl was shot after ringing a doorbell of the wrong house to pick up his siblings. This story has since caught mass media attention and alarms people around the country. Dealing with strangers, even if it’s just a game, can be very dangerous. It is cases like these that make adults in charge of the students afraid.

Still, senior Adam Helwani thinks that the school administration is “overreacting” about the game because it’s “not that big of a deal because it’s all in good fun.” 

Senior Andrew Sabeh also agrees with Helwani, saying, “This is a tradition that has been going on for years and the school has never had a problem, so I see no reason for the school to even be involved.”

Speaking on today’s issues with guns, adults who are responsible for students at Wayne Hills might feel that their safety is threatened. Even though Senior Assassins is not school-affiliated, the Wayne Hills administration is still expressing concern. Trespassing on other people’s front yards late at night endangers both the student and any other people involved.

Some may have thought this fun game just exists within our school, but the fad has reached all over New Jersey, spanning across the United States. 

The concern of the police is apparent in Livingston, New Jersey according to a recent article produced by CBS. There are many similar type of “senior assassin” games happening and the police from other towns have reached out and explained their concerns for the game moving forward.

Senior Assassins is a non-school game played amongst students all over the country. It is one of the many activities students look forward to do when they become a senior. However, it is instances like driving recklessly and trespassing that could make the fun game turn into something dangerous.