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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (April 7, 2014) — Titled “Best Classroom April Fool’s Prank Ever,” this Youtube video is living up to its name.
A group of Aquinas College students banded together to dupe one of their favorite and newest professors on campus.
“We thought what better way to welcome him than to make him a YouTube sensation,” said Bailey Terebinski, Aquinas College senior.
Dr. Stephen Barrows is an associate professor of economics who is currently enjoying his second semester with Aquinas. The prank, students say, all began with his seemingly harsh cell phone policy in his macroeconomics class.
“We just started brainstorming. At first we started thinking of just really ridiculous ideas, but then we remembered the cell phone policy: if your cell phone rang in class, you had to answer it on speakerphone,” said Terebinski.
As soon as the student in class answered her phone on speaker, Dr. Barrows looked shocked.
“We were straight-forward with it and we’re like, ‘your test results have come back,’ right in the first line, ‘you’re going to be a mom!’” explained Ian MacNeil, Aquinas College senior who played the voice of the pregnancy center.
Dr. Barrows said the first thing he thought was, “Why isn’t she taking this off speakerphone?” and then said he knew he had to publicly apologize.
“No woman should have to publicly reveal her pregnancy unless she’s doing it purposefully. So I just thought, ‘Oh, I am so sorry that this happened to her this way,’” said Dr. Barrows.
One student filmed the entire prank, while others in the class gasped.
“Professor Barrows is a good guy and he probably wasn’t going to force her to put it on speakerphone if we didn’t kind of egg her on. So we said, ‘answer it, answer it!’ and you can hear that in the beginning of the video,” said Aquinas College junior Josh Weiland.
Now Dr. Barrows says he has effectively changed his cell phone policy to have students immediately shut their phones off if it rings.
“That will be my way I will correct people in class from now on, ‘Hey look, you’re sleeping, you might get on YouTube,’” joked Dr. Barrows.
The Professor congratulated his students saying this was a job that was “well, well done,” but the students say he was the star.
“You’re like teacher of the year now,” said Weiland.
Students added that the best part of this prank was that Dr. Barrows started class on April 1 with a prank of his own, when he handed out a pop-quiz.
“(Professor Barrows) said, ‘alright, second pop-quiz, flip it over.’ Then he said, ‘I’m just kidding, April Fool’s, it’s just homework,” then all of us thought okay, you just wait,” said Raechel Wrona, Aquinas College senior.
The video currently has more than three million views on YouTube.