School Prank Causes Car Consternation
BY SUZANNE GULDIMANN
Malibu High School senior pranksters appeared to have borrowed a page from Caltech and MIT’s pranking tradition last week, when what appeared to be a small four-door sedan was visible on the roof of the two-story campus entryway. Closer inspection revealed that the “car” was a shell comprised of frame and panels, giving the illusion of a vehicle but without the weight of the engine, seats, axle or other parts.
Campus security and Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District personnel were said to be less than thrilled with what was described as a highly dangerous stunt, but they reported that campus property was not damaged during the incident and no one appeared to have been injured.
Speculation ranged from allegations that the pranksters used a crane to hoist the car frame on to the roof, to the theory that the frame and panels of the car body were disassembled and reassembled.
Famous versions of the car-on-the-roof prank include a much-publicized 1994 MIT incident that involved a life-sized mock-up of a campus police cruiser assembled on top of the school’s iconic “Great Dome.”
Perhaps the earliest documented version of the prank involved an Austin Seven that was hoisted onto the roof of the Senate House building at Cambridge in the UK in 1958.
In a letter dated May 13, all seniors were reminded “Malibu High does not sanction any senior pranks and any student involved in senior pranks places his or her participation in the graduation ceremony in jeopardy.”
The letter goes on to state, “Historically, attempts at senior pranks have gone horribly wrong resulting in substantial damage to the campus. As a result, we find it necessary to take a firm stance against senior pranks and will hold students who participate accountable.
There were apparently no witnesses and no suspects in the incident.