Farmington High student ticketed in ‘Water Wars’ accident

Every year since Farmington High seniors started playing “Water Wars,” Farmington Public Safety Department has responded to complaints about students driving erratically.

This year, the warm-weather game got serious.

Taylor Delind Balk campaign ad

On Tuesday evening, a Farmington High School senior took a turn too quickly at Grand River and Mooney Street and lost control of her vehicle, which glanced off a telephone pole. She wasn’t injured, but now has a reckless driving ticket on her record.

“She was very lucky,” said Farmington Public Safety Deputy Director Ted Warthman. “These kids want to have fun. And we want them to have fun. But they have to obey traffic laws.”

The organized game, played by teams of students at Farmington, Harrison, North Farmington, and other area high schools, has students shooting at each other with water guns. The goal is to soak an opponent, who then has to give up a wristband and leaves the game.

Water Wars offers a cash prize, and students keep up with rules, scores, and game action on social media. Play on school grounds is strictly off-limits, and schools do not sanction the game. In fact, principals from three district high schools issued strongly worded letters following the accident.

“I need to be clear: Farmington High School in no way supports this game. We have made it very clear that if students attempt to play this game on school grounds, there will be consequences issued. This is not a school-sanctioned event, and we do not want it to be a distraction from our mission of ending the year on a positive note,” Farmington High Principal Tom Shelton wrote.

All three urged parents to carefully consider their children’s participation in Water Wars.

” If it can be played safely, I have no issue with the game. It is my hope that if students are allowed to continue in this activity, that is it done safely and respectfully,” Harrison High principal James Anderson wrote.


Reported by