High school officials warn popular toy gun game could turn dangerous

CINCINNATI -- High school seniors across the Tri-State are in the trenches of a popular toy-gun game that many consider a rite-of-passage before graduation. 

But in an age of heightened security threats, school and police officials are warning students that the fun-intended game could turn dangerous fast.  

The game is commonly called “assassin,” “killer,” or “Nerf wars,” and it has been played for years at schools across the nation every spring. Rules vary, but the game generally involves students stalking or shooting human targets with Nerf darts or water guns until only one remains.  Some schools use a bracket system and then the winning team claims a cash prize.

“It’s kind of a fun last hoorah because at the end of the year, you’re kind of stressed out with AP testing, and you’re going away to college,” said Kendall Harden, a Mariemont High School senior who helped organized the unsanctioned game at her school.

It’s a way to blow off steam for most students and a decades-old tradition passed down to the senior class. 

But in a central Wisconsin city Tuesday night, the fun game turned nearly-deadly serious.

Insiders can read how and what some schools are doing to regulate the game.

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