State leaders call out an April Fools’ joke that went viral Wednesday.
Some argue the fake news of students repeating their current grade went too far during a national emergency.
Amanda Curtis told her children more unsettling news after COVID-19 forced them online and out of the classroom.
“It means that Jackson, you won’t be going to fifth grade. Asher, you won’t be going to ninth grade,” said Curtis in a video recording.
“I could see the tears welling up in his eyes, it was so hard to keep a straight face,” Curtis said.
Curtis said the viral posts were the “perfect” prank during a stressful time.
“April Fools!! I got you,” Curtis told her children in the video.
The announcement appeared to come from Governor Herbert and was widely shared on Facebook. Someone even forged a document, complete with Tooele School District letterhead.
“I said, ‘Do you know what repeat means?’ She was like, ‘No’,” Natalie Miyamoto said while pranking her first grade daughter.
Yet, not every parent was in on the joke.
“We were getting calls asking if that was real or not,” Granite School District spokesperson Ben Horsley said.
Granite School District’s phone lines lit up, along with those in Tooele, Davis and other counties.
“I think somebody was intending to do something they thought was pretty humorous, and by and large, a lot of people took it that way. There are obviously some people who who took it the wrong way,” Horsley said.
The prank even caught the attention of Governor Herbert, who said the prank was “irresponsible” amid a global crisis.
“If anyone has to repeat their current grade, it has nothing to do with the governor. We are not ordering that to take place at all. We’ve been inundated with calls,” said Gov. Herbert.
While the Governor’s announcement was fake news, the students’ comfort was very real.
“I was relieved, yeah,” said Asher Curtis.