For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 19, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
SAU 16 Community Police Chiefs Urge Students to Stop Playing “Assassins” Game
EXETER — Student Administrative Unit (SAU) 16 Superintendent Michael Morgan and police chiefs in the unit’s six communities are urging Exeter High School seniors to stop playing the game “Assassins” due to the threat it imposes on the safety and security of the community.
The Assassins game has become a widespread tradition on high school and college campuses. It is comprised of two-person teams pursuing their assigned “targets” with water guns, inheriting the targets of those they successfully squirt. The last team not to get squirted wins. In the communities surrounding Exeter High School, students are dressing in dark clothing and sneaking around people’s homes late at night and in the early morning hours in order to get their target and advance in the game. This presents a danger to the community and an increase in police department calls for service, which allocates vital police resources to the game, when there could be real emergencies elsewhere.
“SAU 16 is aware of the game being played by students who attend Exeter High School. This is of serious concern not only for school officials but also for police officials and parents,” Superintendent Morgan said. “School officials are very concerned with the foreseeable and dangerous results that this game could cause. In this day and age of violence and the constant media reports of shootings, the harm that this game could cause to a family or community is devastating. School officials do their best to make students aware of potential dangers involved in this game, but families have to be aware of the potential consequences as well.”
The game has led to an increase in calls of suspicious activity to area police departments, often by neighbors. While parents may know what the game entails, their neighbors do not, prompting reports of a suspicious person in the neighborhood. Area Chiefs have advised their officers to keep the game in mind when responding to suspicious activity calls, which, in turn, can put officers’ safety at risk.
In addition, participants characteristically drive away from scenes erratically, which could initiate a motor vehicle stop by the police and a potential driving citation. As its popularity grows, Assassins has begun to pose threats to communities nationwide. Accidents have occurred and criminal charges have been filed as a result of the game.
“This game is not only dangerous to students, but also poses a safety concern for responding officers,” Chief Shupe said. “I caution against parents allowing their students to play. There are other ways for the senior class to come together.”
Stratham Chief John Scippa added, “The area police departments do not wish to dampen the celebrations surrounding graduation. However, it’s our job to keep everyone safe in the process.”
“I am proud that the area chiefs have come together to address this issue,” said Newfields Chief Nathan Liebenow. “We hope our collaboration with each other and SAU 16 will put a stop to the game immediately.”
Brentwood Chief Wayne M. Robinson said, “We encourage parents to address the dangers of this game with their children, and find a new solution that achieves the same level of class bonding.”
“Our community is not the only one affected by this game,” added East Kingston Chief Timothy J. Connell. “Police departments nationwide have seen the consequences of teenagers sneaking around with water guns and other fake weapons, all in a manner of good fun.”
“It is our duty to keep those tragedies from happening in our towns and school, said Kensington Chief Scott Sanders. “We are here to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, and their families.”