GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (April 7, 2014) — Titled “Best Classroom April Fool’s Prank Ever,” a 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 senior Bailey Terebinski.
Dr. Stephen Barrows is an associate professor of economics who is currently in 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,” said Terebinski. “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.”
As soon as the student in class answered her phone on speaker, Dr. Barrows looked shocked. The voice at the other end of the phone identified himself as being from a pregnancy center.
“We were straight-forward with it and we’re like, ‘Your test results have come back,’ right in the first line. ‘Yyou’re going to be a mom!’” explained senior Ian MacNeil, who played the voice of the pregnancy center.
Barrows’ first thought was why the student didn’t take the call off the speaker. “No woman should have to publicly reveal her pregnancy unless she’s doing it purposefully,’ he said. “So I just thought, ‘Oh, I am so sorry that this happened to her this way.'”
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,” said junior Josh Weiland. “So we said, ‘Answer it, answer it!’ and you can hear that in the beginning of the video.”
Now Dr. Barrows says he has changed his cell phone policy to have students immediately shut their phone 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: “(Professor Barrows) said, ‘All right, second pop-quiz, flip it over.’ Then he said, ‘I’m just kidding, April Fool’s, it’s just homework.’ Tthen all of us thought okay, you just wait,” said senior Raechel Wrona.
As of Monday afternoon, the video had more than four million views on YouTube.