Friday, February 22, 2013

Teachers Prank - Students thought they were going on a Class Trip to DISNEY WORLD

Parents at a South Windsor school are expressing outrage after teachers led graduating students to believe they were heading to Disney World for a year-end trip - only to reveal the next day that the kids were the butt of an elaborate joke.

One of the teachers recorded the scene on an iPad and it was later shown to another class so they too could join in the teachers' merriment.

"I have a lot of respect for teachers and what they do, but this was really stupid judgment," said parent Peter To-polovec.

Roseland public school's graduating students were told last Thursday that they were in for a spectacular year-end field trip to Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
On Friday, both Grade 8 classes were shepherded into a room, shown a video of their Disney dream vacation and given a PowerPoint presentation showing a palm tree-lined resort.
Travel brochures and hotel information were passed around. The flights are super cheap, a teacher said after one student expressed concern over cost.
The kids, ecstatic by now in anticipation, were urged by the teachers to yell out where they were going: "We're going to Disney!" That's when they were told to look at the last slide, which announced their 2013 field trip wasn't to a fabulous Florida funland, but to a Windsor bowling alley.
The reaction apparently caught even some of the pranksters by surprise, with one student-teacher who was in on the joke nearly coming to tears by the looks of dejection that followed.

"It was a huge error in judgment," Warren Kennedy, director of education of the Greater Essex County District School Board, told The Star Wednesday.

Bonnie Stewart, mother of twins who attend Grade 8 at Roseland, came home at 5 p.m. Friday to find both her kids already in their beds. She woke her son, who told her everything.

"I went into my daughter's room, and I told her I was so sorry - she just looked so sad," said Stewart. "They felt they were made fools of - it was humiliating," she added.

"When my son told me, it blew me away," said Topolovec. To humiliate the children and then compound it by recording it and showing it to their peers, he added, "that's bullying, and there should be zero tolerance."

Stewart suggested if the Grade 8s had pulled off a similar prank at the expense of the Grade 2s, there would be suspensions at the least and possibly expulsions.

"I don't believe they intended to be cruel," said Stewart. "There's some incredible, really fantastic teachers there."

Topolovec said he wondered whether he was being overly sensitive as a parent. But he said there was quite a bit of effort put into the prank and that the two teachers and three student teachers in on it allowed it to "brew" over several days.

It wasn't until details of the incident were posted on Facebook and people began commenting on them that the apologies from the principal and the teachers began going out, the parents said.

Topolovec said it was explained to him that the prank was designed to stop one of the students from snooping on a teacher's desk, with fake Disney trip information laid out on the Thursday.

"To teach one student a lesson, they humiliated 60 students," said To-polovec.


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