Teachers' elaborate prank sparks outrage
The Canadian PressThursday, February 21, 2013
WINDSOR, Ont. - A southwestern Ontario school board is speaking out against teachers who pulled an elaborate prank on a group of Grade 8 students in Windsor.
A spokesman for the Greater Essex County School Board says teachers used "poor judgment" when they led students to believe they were going on a graduation trip to Disney World.
Scott Scantlebury says teachers at Roseland Public School prepared a PowerPoint presentation, complete with pictures and video, to lead the kids to believe the trip to Florida was in the works.
He says the final slide revealed the planned trip was only to a local bowling alley, leaving students devastated.
He says one of the adults in the room videotaped the fake presentation and the resulting student reaction.
Scantlebury says the board is not investigating the matter further and declined to discuss whether disciplinary actions were being taken against the teachers involved.
The two staff members directly involved in the prank are still employed at Roseland, he added.
"Some extremely poor judgment was used, and that has been acknowledged by those involved," Scantlebury said in a telephone interview. "They regret their actions."
Scantlebury said the prank evolved from one teacher's suspicion that students were rifling through his desk. The teacher planted a false brochure advertising the Florida graduation trip, he said, adding staff allowed rumours to swirl unchecked.
The false presentation was staged several days later before the entire Grade 8 population of the school, he added.
Scantlebury acknowledged the story has generated considerable backlash from community members angered by the way the students were treated.
"We have received a number of calls from people, and not necessarily everyone who has a student at that school, and it's been fairly consistent in its condemnation of the teachers' actions," he said.
He said the school's principal and the teachers have spoken with students and parents.
"The hope is now that we can put this behind us and learn from a very hard mistake."