Students Pull “Senior Prank” on EHS TV Monitors


The TVs returned to regular programming after the hack.

Isha Konety and Brooke Sheehy

At 11:05 AM on May 4, the television monitors around Edina High School stopped displaying images of happy student athletes and reminders about college visits. Instead, the screens filled with homemade memes. Some included photoshopped pictures featuring EHS Principal Andy Beaton. One image, for example, depicted Beaton and administrative assistant Pam Berling standing next to a vending machine stocked with JUUL pods (e-cigarette cartridges). Other images displayed an altered version of the daily class schedule with made up (and certifiably non-school sanctioned) events happening at each hour of the day.  Shortly after the images appeared throughout the school, administrators began to unplug the monitors.

While shutting the monitors down, Principal Beaton discovered that flash drives had been plugged into each monitor and that the TVs had been changed to slideshow mode, allowing the pranksters to override the school’s slideshow and broadcast their own images. One of these flashdrives was found by Zephyrus staff members on a table underneath a TV in the third floor English wing and turned in to administrators.

According to an anonymous source, the monitors were hacked late at night on May 3rd by a group of seniors as a “senior prank.” There has been speculation that these students may face expulsion or even arrest for trespassing into the school and tampering with the TVs. Currently, the administration is investigating how the students had access to the building and monitors after school hours. “I’ve got some concerns about access to our monitors and the damage [done to our monitors],” Beaton said. Although the administration was not amused by the incident, some EHS students found it entertaining. “It felt like such a high school movie moment,” senior Medha Kaul said. Additionally, some students took to Twitter to share pictures of the monitors, labeling the incident as “legendary.”

Some have speculated that the pranksters used the TVs in their caper as part of a critique of the TVs themselves. Dozens of TVs were placed around the school during this summer’s remodel but have seen minimal use. Many students were critical of the fact that school funding went to the TVs when it could have been spent elsewhere, possibly on technology that would have a larger educational impact on EHS students. “The TVs haven’t impacted my life in any way. I’ve never used them for information and probably never will,” junior Annie Snyder said.

The original idea for this year’s senior prank was for current EHS seniors to switch schools with Eden Prairie High School seniors for the entire school day. After many EHS and EPHS students refused to take part, the prank was abandoned. This cancellation created a void which a smaller group of seniors decided to fill. The student body has yet to hear whether or not the students involved in the TV prank will be reprimanded.

Although the students have not been identified, administration is confident that they will be soon. “We have some good leads to whom it might be because we have a number of hallway security cameras, so it’s just a matter of time,” Beaton said.