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Monday, June 1, 2009

Keys to a good school prank

gorilla chasing banana prank | Andrew LeinonenAndrew Leinonen, a senior last year at Zion-Benton Township High School and also the mastermind who dressed up as a gorilla and chased 10 of his banana-clad friends through the building as a senior prank were suspended because of the prank.

Students planned protests, and groups such as "Saving the Banana Boys" popped up on MySpace. Media outlets across the country picked up his stupid stuff and funny pranks story as an applauded genius.

"You can't forget a day like that," said Leinonen, now a 19-year-old freshman studying criminal justice at College of Lake County, still basking in the glory.

But the 15-year-old Lockport boy prankster who thought it would be funny to set off a makeshift chemical bomb Monday in a crowded school hallway broke the cardinal rule of pranks.

"That's not a prank,It's a bomb. You don't joke around with that." said Leinonen, expert prankster.

According to Leinonen, the perfect prank meets three standards:

• Nobody gets hurt

• Property isn't damaged

• It makes people laugh

Police said that the 15-year old boy freshman at Lockport Township High School's Central campus, confessed to creating the bomb. The pop bottle filled with household chemicals injured or sickened more than a dozen people.

He will be in juvenile court June 10. He faces up to six years at a state juvenile facility and up to a two-year expulsion from school.

Students need to understand the difference between a prank and a crime said Ken Trump, who trained Lockport Township High School authorities in emergency preparedness after the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in Colorado and president of National School Safety and Security Service, a Cleveland, Ohio-based school security consulting group.

"Anyone, including even the most notorious prankster teen, needs to be able to make that distinction, They're not putting a lollipop in the middle of the floor. They're putting an explosive device."

And feigning ignorance isn't an option said Trump.

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