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No problems reported from students’ ‘Nerf War’

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news River Falls, 54022
Hudson Star Observer
715-386-9891 customer support
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Hudson apparently hasn’t had any problems related to high school students playing the Nerf War game.

Tuesday morning, the officer in charge of the Hudson Police Department at the time, Sgt. Jason Muenich, said he wasn’t aware of any incidents so far.

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A week earlier, Principal Peggy Shoemaker sent an email to parents of Hudson High School students warning them about potential dangers of the game in which players use Nerf guns to shoot mostly foam bullets at other players.

The goal is for the teams of four or five players to eliminate players on other teams, and be the last team surviving.

“Please be aware that this game/activity is not sponsored or supported by the Hudson School District,” Shoemaker said in the May 20 message. “Our primary reason for sending this email to you is the safety and well-being of our students, both in and out of school.”

The game is conducted outside of the school day and off school grounds.

Shoemaker said more than 160 Hudson students were signed up via social media to begin playing the game on Wednesday, May 21.

She said police and schools in surrounding communities had reported “concerning behaviors” connected with the game, including inappropriate use of social media, reckless driving resulting in traffic violations, damage to property and trespassing.

She said the use of look-alike guns elsewhere had alarmed community members.

In Wausau, police responded with weapons drawn to a report of a group of young people pointing guns at other people in a vehicle. Six students were issued $240 citations that were later dismissed in response to criticism.

A Nerf War game being played by Eau Claire Memorial High School students was voluntarily stopped after police and school administrators expressed concerns.

The principal of Hudson High School noted that laws against throwing “missiles, circulars or pamphlets” at a vehicle carry a forfeiture of $187 in Hudson Municipal Court or a $263.50 fine in St. Croix County Circuit Court.

“Please take the time to speak with your son or daughter about this issue and make them aware of the potential consequences and harm that may be associated with this game,” Shoemaker advised.

Hudson Police Chief Marty Jensen said last week that his main concern was about students driving recklessly while trying to catch members of another Nerf War team.

Jensen also said it is illegal to shoot a Nerf gun from a vehicle or at a vehicle.

It’s not illegal for students to play the game, he said, “unless you do it in a reckless or dangerous manner, or you’re harassing somebody by shooting,” he said.

Jensen said he had instructed patrol officers to watch for potential problems associated with the game.

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Randy Hanson
Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.
(715) 426-1066
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