Messy ordeal only sends wrong message in school.

If patrons of Garden City USD 457 didn't know about so-called senior pranks taking place at Garden City High School over the years, they do now.

This year, however, GCHS seniors went in a different direction with what's been described as an organized senior class prank.

Conducted with the approval of Principal James Mireles, seniors were given permission to leave a mess at the school so long as they helped clean up the next day.

Some 50 to 100 students were allowed to enter the high school at night to leave their Class of 2013 mark, and they did so with gusto.

They used streamers, yarn, glitter, Silly String and more inside the school. Outside, they wrote on sidewalks with chalk and adorned trees with toilet paper.

Some students went too far, naturally, by placing Vaseline on door handles, plastic wrap on stairs and even hanging a condom on a buffalo statue. (Imagine how alumni who were instrumental in placing nice artwork in the new high school felt about that stunt.)

As for Mireles, he no doubt was relieved to have some control over the prank, and hopefully ward off more serious acts that materialized in the past, such as damage to the football field.

Still, it's difficult to see how such a prank even one meant to be fun rather than malicious made sense.

We're all for seniors celebrating their final year of high school, but surely there are better ways to do so than making a mess on school property. There's a big difference between decorating a building to make a statement and creating a situation that inconveniences others.

Educators often complain that they don't receive proper respect. While they deserve as much, allowing students to disrespect the school setting in any way sends the wrong message.

Mireles said he hoped the activity helped seniors get the desire to pull a prank out of their systems.

Let's also hope next year's seniors views such acts for what they are silly and unnecessary and come up with a better way to celebrate the end of their high school days.