Parents in Ontario, Canada are justifiably angry at a prank pulled by teachers on the graduating students of a South Windsor where students were convinced that they were gong to be taken to Disneyland as a graduation gifts and then crushed when told it was just an elaborate joke. The joke left many students at Roseland in tears and left parents fuming about the worst joke ever.
The teachers brought both Grade 8 classes at Roseland into an assembly room to show them a video of their dream vacation and a powerpoint presentation on all of the fun and rides awaiting them. Even travel brochures and hotel information was passed out. Students were told that deals were available on cheap flights after students expressed concern that their parents might not be able to afford to send them. The teachers then asked the students to yell out “We’re Going To Disney” over and over.
Then with the students screaming with joy, the teachers told them that instead of Disney they would be going to a local bowling alley instead.
Warren Kennedy, director of education of the Greater Essex County District School Board said later that “It was a huge error in judgment. . . I don’t think anyone is happy about this.” Well, that is one way to put it. Another way is to say it is that these teachers took highly impressionable kids and traumatized them with something that was not even remotely funny. I do not even understand why the joke was considered sufficiently funny to justify all of the work. I could understand a quick teasing about “rather than going to Disney this year, we are going to the bowling alley” but to work up the kids with brochures and chants is unbelievable.
I would probably not fire teachers over this, but I do believe written reprimands at a minimum are justified. What do you think?