Graphic by Max Hense and Sandra Pedersen.
Last week, a group of staff members found traces of hazardous chemicals in the ventilation ducts of Mercer Island High School. After a thorough inspection, MIHS announced that the school is an unsafe environment and students will attend Bellevue High School until the chemical is removed.
Marie Kristin is a chemist from University of Washington. “So far, we know very little about the chemical,” Kristin said. “My coworkers are beginning to suspect that the chemicals are from vape pens, but I’m not so sure. Vape pens and more specifically the vape cart doesn’t tend to produce fumes which would do that much damage, even with the top mods which make them produce the most vapour. There are also vape pens for CBD, that can help with a number of issues. We have a large team studying samples as we speak, so students will hopefully be able to return to the school in a month.”
A fierce football rivalry has caused massive rifts between the neighboring high schools. Over time, pranks have escalated, causing some Mercer Island students to worry that going to Bellevue High School could be more dangerous than breathing in MIHS’s fruit-flavored toxic fumes.
“Mercer Island and Bellevue have been rival schools forever,” said Noah Hendelman, Freshman Class Secretary. “Sharing a school with them could be an absolute disaster. Our spirit versus their pride? Who knows what might happen.”
The schools have been in head-on competition for generations. MIHS student, Ivy Perez spoke about her fears. “I’ve heard rumors that Bellevue kids are going to slip things into our food to slowly turn us into actual wolverines,” Perez said. For those who didn’t know, wolverines are the Bellevue High School mascot.
Speculation swirls on both ends of the spectrum. Sources from inside Bellevue High School say that students are already planning a less than friendly welcome.
“We’ve got several traps set up at the school,” said Ine Wolver, a Bellevue senior. “The plan is to throw a net over as many students as possible, and then to attack them with blue and yellow paintballs.”
Islanders are hoping to combat the Bellevue kids with their own pranks.
“We want to fill the entire cafeteria with maroon and white balloons filled with maroon and white glitter – any one who pops those balloons will be literally sparkling with MIHS pride,” said Brooke Comstock, Freshman Class Treasurer.
“Dude our pranks are going to be insane,” Said Slians Og, another Mercer Island student. “We want to put ketchup in all of the soap dispensers.”
The conflict between the two schools are leaving both Bellevue and Mercer Island on edge and apprehensive. But not everyone is sympathetic. Bernard Christuan is a Mercer Island School Board member. “Back in my day, we weren’t allowed to complain about little things like school merges,” Christuan said. “Teens needs to learn to grow up and deal with it.”
Principal Vicki Puckett also appears unfazed. “Yo, if they’re gonna do pranks, they better be savage ones,” Puckett said. “I’m the cool principal, I’m not worried about the rivalry.”
No matter the varying perspectives, a sea of maroon and white will merge with the yellow and blue. Will the wolverines get slimed? The snails be salted? Students are anxious to find out.