FAIRFIELD — Senior events were held at Fairfield Ludlowe High School Wednesday after seniors worked with Headmaster Greg Hatzis to show their respect for school staff after a mess senior prank gone amiss.

The prank — which resulted in smashed watermelons strewn about the school’s stairwells, bathrooms and senior lounge and a gallon of maple syrup coating a busy stairwell — triggered Hatzis to cancel senior events in late May. But after the senior class did a series of deeds to show gratitude for custodians that cleaned up the prank’s mess, the senior picnic and yearbook signing were held Wednesdsay.

“They gave them (custodians) the respect they deserve as professionals,” Hatzis said. He said seniors showed who they truly are in apologizing to the school community and custodians and that he knows them as an “incredible group of young people” who have contributed a vast amount during their four years at Ludlowe.

The single prank incident “doesn’t define them,” Hatzis added.

The headmaster had wrote in a letter to parents following the prank that he might reconsider canceling the events but that it would depend on how students reacted.

Working with Hatzis, students sent thank you notes to FLHS faculty and staff, made baked goods for custodians and staff and donated to a food drive for local charities. On the morning of the senior picnic, about 30 seniors also helped custodians set up chairs for graduation, which Hatzis said got the job done in record time.

At the senior picnic, seniors cheered for custodians as they entered the picnic and got food first to show gratitude. Seniors also volunteered to help clean up after the event.

In a second letter to seniors and parents June 9, Hatzis wrote, “It was heart-warming to learn of the initial response of our seniors who are willing to do these things and I hope that more will continue to volunteer. I am proud of the attitude of the senior class to engage in constructive and positive behaviors in the wake of the unfortunate events from May 23. I look forward to these events as well as the other events leading up to the graduation ceremony.”

lweiss@hearstmediact.com; @LauraEWeiss16