Nerf wars

Nerf wars is an annual event for Highland Park students taking place after spring break. Students who wished to participate had to create a team of 5 and each team member was required to pay a fee of $5 to play.

The competition, this year,  began with 21 teams, and now is in the second round with 16 remaining. Any student was able to participate as long as they paid the fee and had a team of members. The teams were then seeded by grade, number of drivers on the team, previous experience, and if they played any sports.

A team with multiple drivers, and previous experience, is at a much higher advantage than the other teams, but this year’s Nerf wars, in the community, has changed a little. Most parents are not allowing their sons or daughters participate due to the serious risks that come along with the game.

On December 4th, 2015, two Lakeville South students, who were participating in a Nerf wars game, were killed in a car accident. Jacob Flynn, 17, and John Price, 18, were the two students who were killed. Mason Kohlbeck, 18, and Alexander Hughes, 17, were among the ones injured in the car accident. Hughes was driving the pickup truck when it crossed over the center line and flipped multiple times before it stopped.

Due to this tragic event, regarding the Lakeville South students, Ramsey County Attorney, John Choi, sent out an email to many administrators and parents of students participating in Nerf wars this spring. The email brought to attention the potential dangers of the game for the students who chose to play. Choi met, and talked, with parents of different schools, “I learned a lot about what is happening and am concerned that some of these activities are not only dangerous, but also illegal, and could result in serious injuries and/or prosecution.”

In his email, he stated what parents have said about how many different students that have partaken in the game “Have used cars to block other teens; jumped on top of moving vehicles; slashed tires; gotten into car accidents; crawled into homes, garages and/or on roofs without the homeowner’s permission, often in the dark and in violation of curfew laws.” With that being said many of the schools’ administrations are encouraging students not to play.

School administrations aren’t the only ones who are concerned; many parents won’t let their sons or daughters play, which has lowered the number of teams playing. In the past there have been around 34 teams and this year their was only 21 teams.

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