Pencil Prank Gets 12-Year-Old Slapped With Assault Charges


pencil A tack placed on someone's seat is one of the oldest pranks out there, but it went terribly wrong recently in Ohio when a 12-year-old boy tried a variation of it. It happened during a choir class at Sailorway Middle School. One boy thought it would be funny to put a pencil on another boy's chair, but what happened next was anything but funny.

The pencil became impaled in the boy's buttocks -- it went through his jeans and two inches into his body. It had to be surgically removed. Ouch, and how horribly humiliating for this child to have to go through such trauma. But I also can't help but feel a bit sorry for the prankster too.

According to the police report, the boy stated “that he didn’t mean to hurt anyone" and that "he didn’t think that the pencil would go through the clothing.” Bad judgment for sure, but it sounds like he truly didn't mean any harm. Now he's being charged with misdemeanor assault, which will be on his record, affecting his chances for things like college and jobs.

Haven't we all tried to pull a prank or joke that just fell flat ... or worse? I remember being at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., on a family vacation when I was in fifth grade. During lunch, my younger brother thought it would be funny to pull the chair out from underneath me, and I went crashing to the ground. I was humiliated and furious, but he got in such trouble from my parents that I ended up feeling a lot worse for him than I did for myself. He was just trying to make people laugh.

I worry about my 7-year-old in this respect a lot as he's always trying to be the funny guy. He doesn't have a mean bone in his soft-hearted body, but this is the kind of trouble I can see him getting into someday. Of course, I'll try to teach and warn him against ever hurting anyone, but sometimes the urge to make people laugh clouds one's judgment -- especially young boys. It doesn't make it okay, it just makes me cringe for this boy who I bet wishes with everything he is that he could take it back.

Certainly, I agree this boy should be punished, and my first sympathy goes to the victim. But if the offender has got an otherwise clean record and this was just an error in judgment, it seems assault is too harsh.

Do you think this student should be charged with assault?

Image via orangeacid/Flickr

behavior, discipline, middle school, safety


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

nonmember avatar Gertie

At first when I read this, I thought no. But then I thought if it had happened to my own son... and I wonder if I would think differntly.

bela516 bela516

I am wondering about the logistics of this.  How did a pencil placed on a chair impale someone?  Did he place it sharp point up?  If so, how did he get it to stay point up? if it was placed flat on the chair, how did it pierce the second boys clothes and body?  There had to have been some intent in this if it was rigged so as to be sharp point up, no? if it was laid down flat on the chair, I can't see how it would have done any damage except by an extreme fluke.

aidan... aidansmommy219

if somone had done that to my son i would want charges pressed.

ready... readyforbaby3

I agree with what the above commenter said (bela516)

Also, I don't feel sorry for the prankster but him being charged I'm not really sure how to feel about it. One of my cousins held a pin in her hand on my chair so that as I sat it would stick me. that crap hurt and I for one didn't find it funny.

Laura Show

Its all fun and games until someone gets a pencil stuck in their A$$.. lol


Laura, haha,  for real!

Mamab... MamabearC

Actually no, I've never played a prank on anyone or been friends with anyone who played pranks on people.I also agree with the first comment about how, if it were just placed down in the seat, how it could've cause physical injury.However since it DID cause injury, one must logically assume that the pencil was rigged in a way that the tip was up, which of course is going to injure anyone who unknowingly plops them-self down onto it.It kind of sounds like you think he should not be punished severely at all because "boys will be boys" ideology and I disagree.At 12 you are certainly old enough to know better and this is what happens when you cause injury to someone.Yes, we all make mistakes but the majority of most peoples mistakes don't lead to someone else being hurt.If not criminal charges then at least suspension and community service along with being ordered to pay for all the victims medical expenses.

Theresa Young

I agree. The boy should be punished and maybe a warning from the cops but not a charge. My heart goes out to the boy who got prank and ended up in the hospital. If there are charges to file I would think it would only be if this prankster was also a bully that has been harrassing the victim for a ongoing time. If there is no such record of the boy then it should be dropped and punishment placed in the hands of the parents.


nonmember avatar The Nana

The kid that put the pencil on the chair should have to apologize, and pay the medical expenses. Plus, community service working with disabled kids would go a long way in helping him acquire some common sense and empathy. But, an assault charge? No. Plus, the victim and his parents have a very teachable moment on their hands - do they teach with kindness or litigation? Personally, I would like to hear that they taught their child how to forgive, and move forward.

lovem... lovemybaby72

i agree with theresa young. I have pulled a lot of pranks in my time i love to joke with people but one thing about it you have to realize what the consquences maybe. But for a first time and no record an assult charge is a bit harsh. When i was in school we used to bend staples and shoot them off of pencils at each other. I do wonder to how is it possible for a pencil to break through the skin unless the kid stabe the other kid with it? Im jus wondering

1-10 of 54 comments 12345 Last