The Highlander

McLean High School Senior Assassin

The essential guide to surviving the game

Sam Gollob, Reporter

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On April 30, the annual McLean High School Senior Assassin competition commenced with an ominous email from the organizer, senior Anna Sargent. The email read, “Dear Mr. or Mrs. your first target is…” To most people the idea of receiving a random target with whom you are obligated to “assassinate” is something out of a Mission Impossible movie. However, for the month of May McLean seniors have their very own taste of espionage and adventure just like the movies.

The game consists of random pairings between participants such that each person has one target and someone targeting them. In order to “assassinate” their target, one must spray them with a water gun or other water spraying apparatus. Once a target has been taken out, their target becomes their assassin’s target and the game progresses until there is a winner. The game has been a staple at McLean for three years and is something every senior looks forward to.

Half of the proceeds will go to McLean Best Buddies. Of the remaining funds, the winner will receive 50% of the profits, second place will receive 30% of the profits and third place will receive 20% of the profits. Money will be distributed once the game has ended, which is expected to be June 1.

One of the major rules of the game is that school grounds are completely off limits. The game, although using the name McLean, is completely unaffiliated with the actual school. It is run solely by students for students and thus having any participation on school grounds would put the school at liability risk.

Despite these strict rules, students are already finding loop holes to get around them. For example, on Tuesday, May 1, senior Jake Keating cleverly found a hole in the rules when he nailed his target, senior Alaanah Bhanji, right outside of McLean property. “It was actually really hard because I wasn’t sure if what I was doing was legal. I had to confirm with Anna that technically when you pass the McLean sign on Davidson you are outside of McLean property. Ultimately she confirmed that it was ok and I got Alaanah when she was unprotected,” Keating said. This was one of the first kills of the game and was followed by a chain of kills later that day. Now currently on day four there have been 34 kills and the tally is steadily rising. Random immunity days consist of bizarre acts that if done protect one from being targeted. The first random immunity day is scheduled for this Friday, May 4.

Below is a comprehensive guide of the dos and don’ts of Senior Assassin and how to survive until the end, as provided by organizers from previous years.


  • Stay alive and rack up as many kills as possible.
  • When you kill your target, you notify us via email/DM and assume their target.
  • Don’t be an idiot and don’t get the school involved in any way.
  • You have to shoot your target yourself, and they must be hit with the water.


  • THIS IS NOT A SCHOOL RELATED ACTIVITY. This is NOT affiliated with Class Council or the SGA, don’t screw this up for the rest of us.
  • ABSOLUTELY NO ASSASSINATIONS ON SCHOOL GROUNDS (this includes the school parking lot) or during ANY school sanctioned events. This includes sports practices, games, and performances held by ANY SCHOOL

○       Davidson and Westmoreland are also considered off limits BEFORE school, but are fair game after 2:55 p.m.

  • No assassinations inside your target’s workplace or a place where they volunteer. Your target becomes safe the moment he/she walks into their workplace. Walking through the parking lot after work is (not before, no one’s trying to go to work soaked), however, fair game. This includes those participating in the Highlander Internship Program.
  • You may only enter a residence if invited in. This means that you MUST have CONSENT from your victim’s family. The lawn and porch are still considered the victim’s residence and are OFF LIMITS.
  • You may not assassinate your victim if you are they are in a moving car. All cars involved must be PARKED. Manual cars must be in neutral or first gear and the ignition must be off with E brake must be on.


  • If a floaty is worn by the target, they are officially designated as “safe” and may not be assassinated.  A person can only be “killed” if you catch them without their floaty.
  • A person may wear any type of floaty at any time when out in public or at a place of potential assassination but the item will not be provided through the game.  If you want to use one, you need to buy it yourself.
  • There are no “shields”- if you are hit with water, you are out.


  • The only weapons allowed in the game are those that involve getting the target soaked in LIQUID water. These include water guns, buckets, hoses, and water balloons.
  • No other weapons may be reconfigured into water guns. They must be labeled as water guns upon purchase. Orbeez are NOT considered water guns.
  • If the water gun has been taken off the market for safety reasons, it is off limits (Jack Reed).


  • There will be randomized purge days, where floaties are not considered safe. You are fair game in any zone that is not off-limits NO MATTER WHAT.
  • There will also be random wearable protection days that are different than wearing floaties. Examples include wearing swim goggles and carrying a watermelon. This will occur later in the game.


  • Half of the proceeds will go to McLean Best Buddies.
  • Of the remainder, the winner will receive 50% of the profits, second place will receive 30% of the profits and third place will receive 20% of the profits.
  • Money will be distributed once the game has ended, which is expected to be June 1.

○       $260 will be donated to McLean Best Buddies!

○       First place prize is $130

○       Second place prize is $77

○       Third place prize is $52


  • Failure to comply with any of these rules will result in immediate disqualification.
  • Any inappropriate behavior not mentioned specifically will also lead to disqualification at the discretion of Anna Sargent.
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