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West Springfield Police warn about water gun game among teens

West Springfield Police are warning residents about a game underway at the town’s high school.
Updated: May. 6, 2022 at 5:00 PM EDT
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WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - West Springfield Police are warning residents about a game underway at the town’s high school. It’s called “assassin” and the object is to squirt participants with water guns until one person is left standing.

This game has caused concern for local authorities who want to make sure everyone is being safe. Students told us they think it’s a harmless game and they hope they’re able to play it.

“Something fun to do with all your friends before you go off to college,” said Gary, a student at West Springfield High School.

A senior class game is being planned at West Springfield High School called “assassins” where players try to squirt each other with water guns around town.

“If you get squirted, you’re out of the game,” said West Springfield Public Schools Superintendent Tim Connor.

It typically lasts a few weeks and the last person standing wins a cash prize. Connor told us the game gained popularity across the country in recent years through Tiktok and while it seems like harmless fun, there are some safety concerns to keep in mind.

“There’s times where these kids in the middle of the night are going into houses and behind trees and sometimes, those squirt guns can look like real guns and that can obviously be a real problem,” Connor explained.

The police department posted a warning online and said other communities have seen increased police calls for reckless driving and reports of armed persons while playing this game, but seniors told us they think they should be allowed to play.

“It’s only water guns, you know. I think the kids are having fun nowadays, I think we should do it,” said West Springfield High School senior Ayaan Amhed.

West Springfield High School senior Gary Winthorpe added, “I think it’s important to keep it off school grounds, so no one’s getting hit and then if anything bad happens, the school wouldn’t get in trouble, but I don’t think they should stop us from doing it outside of school.”

While other communities have banned the game in years past, Connor told Western Mass News that West Springfield is just making sure everyone is aware, so students can finish the year strong.

“I don’t know if it’s something you can ban. It’s not sanctioned by the schools, it’s not sanctioned by the police department…It’s about to be senior season, prom and graduation, and we’re trying to avoid any type of issues around safety security or even discipline in those areas,” Connor added.

He’s urging parents to be aware of what their kids are doing online and make sure to talk to them about staying safe.

“We constantly are asking our parents to monitor the apps on their kid’s phones because Tiktok has a lot of things on there that are great and they also have a lot of things that plant seeds for poor decision making,” Connor said.

Connor said if the game were to be played on school grounds, they would take a look at the situation and apply the student handbook and said it may fall under disruption of education or even assault and decide if any disciplinary action needs to be taken.