The student news site of Bellarmine Preparatory School

The Bellarmine Prep Lion

The student news site of Bellarmine Preparatory School

The Bellarmine Prep Lion

The student news site of Bellarmine Preparatory School

The Bellarmine Prep Lion

Nerf Wars: the debate surrounding Bellarmine’s unsanctioned senior competition

Some Bellarmine seniors participating in Nerf Wars. Photo courtesy of @bpsnerfwars24 on Instagram.

Nerf Wars, considered a long-standing tradition among numerous high schools across the United States, consistently sparks debate and controversy on the Bellarmine campus every Spring.

This unsanctioned school event is run by students where teams of five seniors compete against each other in a tournament. For each round, two teams face-off against each other to see who can get the most “kills”. This year, there are 28 teams competing for a chance to win over 2000 dollars. 

Even though the Nerf Wars Instagram account (@bpsnerfwars24) explicitly states “NO GUNS ON SCHOOL PROPERTY,” discussions and debates concerning Nerf Wars persistently circulate throughout the campus. Because the game can involve trespassing on private property, concerns from parents and school staff have been raised surrounding the safety of the participants. 

Bill Baerg, the vice principal of curriculum states, “[Nerf Wars] has never been an academic concern for me. It’s strictly about safety. We are dealing with seventeen and eighteen year olds who are impulsive, which can lead to dangerous actions.”

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Another concern comes from Bellarmine teacher Ken Brown who says, “We live in a day and age where there are people … who are ready to defend their homes. They see a kid hiding in the bushes and it’s dark out, and they don’t know what those kids are there for. I could very easily see them coming out their front door and not having a Nerf gun, but having a shotgun. As soon as that happens, this whole Nerf Wars is over, and it took a dead student to make that happen.”

For this year’s tournament, Dean of Students Cari Harrison acknowledges that Bellarmine seniors have been cooperative in working with the school, mentioning, “Something I truly respect about the students over the last few years is they know not to bring the Nerf competition to campus. Students have really honored that.” 

But despite this open line of communication, reservations from Harrison are still present: “I do worry when students participate in [Nerf Wars]. I’m coming from a perspective of ‘I just want people to be safe.’”

In response to the risks surrounding Nerf Wars, senior Henry Marlow states, “I think this year hasn’t been very dangerous. The worst it’s been is just people hiding outside. I feel like there’s no danger in that.”

With the arrival of graduation, the controversies and discussions revolving around Nerf Wars at Bellarmine have gradually subsided, leaving only two teams left fighting for victory in the final round.


About the Contributors
Talia Patel
Talia Patel, Executive Logistics Editor
Talia Patel is a senior for this year’s journalism class. She enjoys listening to music, going on short runs, and hiking. In school, she is a member of Lion Link Crew, Bellarmine’s Marine Chemistry program, and National Honor Society. She is excited to have a great year writing on The Hill!
Maya Deaton
Maya Deaton, Executive Communications and Media Editor

Maya Deaton is a senior who is excited for her second year on Journalism staff. She is involved in Bellarmine athletics and clubs as a member of the cheerleading team, Marine Chemistry, National Honors Society, Lion Outreach, and Letters For Rose. Outside school, she enjoys going swimming with her friends, walking her dog, traveling, hiking, baking, and going to concerts.