Sunday, May 13, 2007

Bad Prank Choice

Parents upset after teachers' prank goes too far

Parents of students at a Murfreesboro elementary school are outraged that teachers and an assistant principal staged a phony gun attack on their children, telling them repeatedly it was not a drill, while the children cried and took shelter under tables.

Sixty-nine sixth-grade students from Scales Elementary school were on a weeklong trip at Fall Creek Falls, a state park about 130 miles southeast of Nashville. On Thursday, the last night of the outing, the staff played a prank on the kids, convincing them there was a gunman on the loose.

A teacher wearing a hooded sweatshirt pulled on a locked door, pretending to be a suspicious subject in the area.

The students were told to lie on the floor or crawl underneath tables and keep quiet. The lights went out, and about 20 kids started to cry, 11-year-old Shay Naylor said. Some held hands and shook.

“I was like, ‘Oh my God,’ ” Shay said Saturday afternoon as she recounted the incident. “At first I thought I was going to die. We flipped out. (A teacher) told us, ‘We just got a call that there’s been a random shooting.’ I was freaked out. I thought it was serious.”

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