HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A Westmoreland County school district is warning parents about a game that’s being played among some high school students that some say has become a serious safety issue.
Videos posted to YouTube show young people in other parts of the country involved in the game where water guns are used to tag out other players.
The principal at Hempfield Area Senior High School says the game is called “Squirt Gun Assassin” in the Hempfield Township area and the winner gets prize money.
John Malinac, a freshman at the high school, says only seniors are involved.
“They basically assign a senior to squirt gun fire at other seniors, and once they hit that person, then they’re out and they get assigned another person,” said Malinac.
Parents say the game has become a tradition.
“It’s all in fun and games,” said Mike Malinac, John’s father. “As far as I’ve known no one has ever gotten hurt doing it, but sometimes things get out of hand.”
That’s exactly what the principal says has happened.
In a letter to parents, Principal Kathy Charlton wrote: “There have been incidents of teens chasing each other in cars, teens chasing school buses, and teens stalking each other in public places such as the mall restaurants and at private homes.”
She also says police have been called several times.
“It was my understanding that when this all started, there is a bunch of rules to follow,” said Wendy Eperesi, a parent. “You can’t go into somebody’s house, things like that.”
“There are things going on at restaurants, outside the school, there’s car chases and things like that, so it puts people at risk sometimes,” Mike Malinac added.
The principal makes it clear in the letter that the game is not organized or promoted by the school. She says it’s not permitted to be played on school property.