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Kids, school leaders keeping safety first as seniors participate in ‘water wars’

<i>WXYZ</i><br/>Until the end of May
Until the end of May

By Alex Bozarjian, David Kalman

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    ST. CLAIR SHORES, Michigan (WXYZ) — Some metro Detroit seniors are soaking up their final month of high school with a wet and wild tradition.

Until the end of May, students engage in what’s called “water wars.” We’re told essentially, kids chase each other around town with water guns and hoses.

It’s not a school-sanctioned activity, which is why the principal at Seaholm High School in Birmingham is urging kids not to participate.

Maddison Carlisle put her school’s water war in motion.

At the start of week one, 82 of her fellow seniors at Lake Shore High School entered the draft. She says only half are left.

“The rules are pretty simple, like you can’t get people at work or 10 minutes before or after. Athletes are safe at practices and games, 10 minutes before and after. You can’t get anybody on school property during school hours,” Carlisle said.

She created an Instagram page to share her guidelines with the masses. At the very top, she makes it clear this activity is not associated with Lake Shore High School.

“Seventeen and 18-year-olds, sometimes we don’t listen the best, but everyone has been pretty respectful. We did have the cops called one time, but that was like a quick, oh hey, we are playing this water wars game. They are just water guns,” Carlisle said.

Birmingham police are trying to avoid those run-ins by urging kids not to trespass on private property or interfere with vehicle or pedestrian traffic.

“I made sure to put no cars at all (in the rules),” Carlisle said.

Carlisle says she didn’t take the planning portion of the water war lightly.

“They know not to try me,” Carlisle said.

Administrators at Seaholm High School sent out a letter to parents saying they actively discourage water wars, worried it could lead to a “tragic outcome.”

Carlisle’s mom Marie said she understands the concern.

“Because not all of the neighbors or people know the games are going on. We don’t want them to harm the kids or think the kids are harming each other,” Marie Carlisle said.

A hard rule for the Lakeshore seniors’ group is no water guns near schools ever.

“With everything going on with that, school shootings and stuff, I wanted to make sure there were no issues there,” Madison Carlisle said.

She is running a tight ship both when it comes to safety and sportsmanship. No one is eliminated from the war unless she signs off on it.

“They started calling me like ESPN sports analyst because I take it frame by frame if it’s not a clear enough video,” Madison Carlisle said.

She says it may seem like a silly game, but it serves a very important purpose.

“Something we could do outside of school to get us more connected in the last month before graduation,” Madison Carlisle said.

Water wars video from Alyssa Williamson of Taylor High School was also included in this report. She created an Instagram account to post information, videos and pictures of their water wars competition.

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