Ridgewood ‘Dart War’ could be postponed after Florida shooting

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An annual tradition for students at Ridgewood High School could be postponed in the aftermath of a mass shooting at a Florida high school.

The annual “Dart Wars” dates back years. It is a game played by Ridgewood High School students but is not sanctioned by the school. Students often run around Ridgewood trying to eliminate one another with Nerf guns. But school administrators are suggesting it may not be appropriate to play so soon after the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that killed 17 people.

Ridgewood principal Thomas Gorman sent a letter home to parents suggesting that the students should possibly refrain from playing the game next month.

"Although students use Nerf guns during these games, the strategies employed by students to target other teams may be misinterpreted in today's climate,” the letter said in part.

In the days following the Florida shooting, New Jersey law enforcement officials responded to about a dozen reports of threats against New Jersey schools. Several students have been arrested for making these threats. Security has also been increased at many schools in the state.

Ridgewood students who spoke with News 12 New Jersey say that they are sympathetic to what they've been witnessing in Florida. But they also say that they will miss Dart Wars if it turns out no one plays.

"Obviously not on school property but I think off of school grounds it's OK if it's a Nerf gun,” says student Riley Ban.

Ban says that the game typically runs from March through the end of the school year. It is not allowed to be played on school grounds. There is also a pool of money to be won at the end.

Ridgewood Superintendent Daniel Fishbein says that it was actually a group of students who asked administrators if they should hold off playing Dart Wars this year. Fishbein says that he hasn't heard back from students as to whether or not they will play.

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