A high school prank in Cumberland, Wisconsin, has earned the respect of local police, who usually discourage against vandalism of public property.
On Monday, the Cumberland Wisconsin Police Department shared photos of the prank Cumberland High School’s class of 2018 pulled on students and faculty.
“Hats off to the Cumberland High School Class of 2018 on your senior prank,” authorities wrote on Facebook, with photos of the prank. “Congratulations Class of 2018 on one of best senior pranks that Cumberland High School has seen. Congratulations to all the seniors who are graduating.”
It’s easy to see why they were so impressed by what the soon-to-be graduates had done.
Students made it look as though a car had smashed into the side of the school, with the back half of a white vehicle sticking out of the building’s wall and scattered bricks throughout. To help with the illusion? A large black hole taped to the wall, tricking the eye into thinking there was more of the car on the inside of the building.
Since the photos were first uploaded, the post has been shared thousands of times and counting, and inundated with comments.
So how did the kids pull it off?
As police wrote on Facebook, the students moved the car into place around midnight so no one would see.
The entire setup took just eight minutes to do, with students even covering up the security cameras at first to hide their identities.
“It was called in as a crash by a subject that works across from the school,” authorities wrote. “When the officer arrived, he realized it was the prank and laughed at the kids.”
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That officer may have been laughing, but Cumberland High School Principal Ritchie Narges tells PEOPLE he had a different reaction.
“I was speechless,” he says. “It’s just a really cool thing. The creativity of what they did here is unbelievable because everybody drove by thinking someone had crashed into the high school. You have to get closer to know it’s a staged crash. ”
“The reason it’s taken off virally is how it was done in good taste,” he adds. “They’re good kids. They have a good relationship with the police department in town. It’s just all been outstanding. It shows how fortunate were are here at Cumberland to have great teachers, great staff, a great community and police department and everything else. You’ve got to celebrate the good things.”
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Graduation day is on Saturday, and Narges assures the scene will still be intact so parents and people coming in from graduation will be able to walk by and enjoy.
“As soon as I came in, I got on the loudspeaker — and I have 280 kids in the high school — and I said, ‘Senior class, good job. Keep away from the crash site. We’re going to put some tape around it. We’re going to leave it here for a week.’ And they were thrilled,” Narges tells PEOPLE.
As for future pranks, Narges says it’s going to be tough to compare.
“The bar is set so high, I don’t think it’ll ever get beat,” he says. “Since I’ve been here, it’s my 14th year, we’ve never really had anything terrible with the senior prank. In the past, they dumped buckets of pennies in the hallways so we have to sweep it up. Sometimes they’ll stick thousands of plastic forks in the grass that we have to go and clean up. Nothing major, nothing big. But this has just been unbelievable.”
“The probably working and scheming right now, figuring out how they are going to top it,” he adds.