French teacher Eileen Willis arrived at school April 25 ready to teach a prepared lesson on her SMART board, but when she tried to turn on the classroom’s projector, her plans quickly fell apart.
Willis couldn’t find her projector remote control.
Her first thought was, “Oh my gosh! Have I lost it?” She recalled being frantic when she realized that the remote was gone. Willis relies solely on her SMART board for her lessons and uses it in almost every aspect of her class.
Willis was not the only teacher throughout the school to find her projector remote missing. Teachers who planned to teach their lessons using their SMART boards or projectors arrived to school without a way to turn them on. Senior Noah Rosenblatt thought of the idea to temporarily steal projector and SMART board remotes. Rosenblatt took the remotes and put them into a cafeteria vending machine, making teachers throughout the school have to buy their own remotes back. Principal Michael Griffith approved this prank.
Rosenblatt said, “We got it approved and some of the teachers were upset, but we had someone go with us into the rooms [who had] a key to get in. We didn’t unlock any desks and numbered each remote. It was organized and hilarious. Sorry, but not sorry.”
It took 90 minutes to pull the prank. Rosenblatt and others involved in the prank took most of the remotes after school the day before. They stole about 70-100 of them.
Willis searched for her remote for 20 minutes before she figured out what happened, and by that time, class had already started. “I don’t have time to waste my time,” Willis said. She didn’t get her remote back until eighth period.
Others, such as social studies teacher Elizabeth Plautz, thought the prank was more amusing than harmful. However, she did have one suggestion for the pranksters. “I think they should’ve put a sticker or note on the computer that said lost remote for sale and given the money to charity,” Plautz said.
Despite the many cries of teachers, Griffith said that he only received two complaints. Griffith approved the prank because he thought it would be “harmless and innocent.” “We don’t want anything destructive,” he said. Griffith said that he did not think that stealing the remote controls was going to be a problem.
According to Griffith, he wasn’t any more controlling over the pranks that were allowed this year than in other years. Griffith said that he believes pranks are an important part of senior bonding and unity. He thinks that most pranks are directed at teachers students have appreciated. He said, “Ninety-nine percent of the time, [the teachers being pranked] are teachers that they like.”