Monday, May 14, 2007


Scales Elementary School in Murfreesboro, Tenn., may soon have a few job openings.

Last week the sixth grade took its annual weeklong field trip to Fall Creek Falls, a state park. On the last night of the trip, teachers and staffers pulled their annual prank.

And ha-ha, the adults thought it would be hilarious if they told the kids that a gunman was on the loose, firing shots in the park.

Teachers told the students to hide under tables. The lights in their common room were extinguished. A teacher disguised in a hooded sweatshirt yanked on doors.

According to The Tennessean, several students were crying and begging for their lives.

Five minutes later, the "prank" ended. Over the weekend, dozens of parents met with school administrators and listened as the principal talked about "poor judgment." The school also issued a news release:
The lead teacher told the students and other adults that there were people somewhere in the park shooting guns but they were not shooting people; they were driving around playing. He added that the Park Ranger had advised him to tell everyone to take cover as a precaution.

The lead teacher had already instructed the children (as a precaution) to get under the tables. The children remained there quietly for a short period of time.

Soon after, the lights were turned on and the children were informed that this was the prank that they had been forewarned about and was just a joke.

The staff used this incident as a teaching opportunity. The children were praised for following the rules of the school system's "Code Red" procedure.

Most of the students stood up and said, "That was a good one." "Yeah, you got me." High fives were exchanged. The children were then sent to their dorms to clean up before bedtime.
The school principal -- ironically, a graduate of Virginia Tech -- sees nothing funny about the incident. She's promised disciplinary action.

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