December 16, 2011
A pep rally prank intended to bring laughter and cheers at a Minnesota high school has instead sparked a firestorm of controversy after parents of some senior student athletes took a practical joke too far.
As reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, a recent winter sports pep rally at Rosemount (Minn.) High featured a comedy skit which took advantage of unknowing captains of the various winter varsity squads. After the team captains walked into the gym blindfolded, they were told that they were going to be kissed by a special someone, and then were asked to guess who it was that kissed them.
You can see full video footage of the pep rally incident here, but beware, there are some moments that veer into "make out" territory and can come across as pretty inappropriate.
It turns out that the person who kissed the athletes -- in every circumstance -- was their own opposite sex parent. While no one has questioned the comedic intentions of the prank, the stunt itself has still drawn plenty of criticism not for the student athletes, but for what the parents did in executing the practical joke. As you can see above, some of the parents took their roles as "special someones" to a level that left many onlookers feeling uncomfortable and even queasy.
Here's how the Star Tribune described the sketch's lowlights:
Some of the parents during the 59-second YouTube video are seen holding the kisses for several seconds, cupping their child's faces or embracing and swaying.
One mother moved her son's hand down to her behind during the encounter. Another mom has her son down on the gym floor to the delight of two male students nearby.
According to the Minneapolis paper, a number of those in attendance called and emailed to make it clear that they felt offended by the sketch, despite the fact that none of the students or parents involved in the kissing antics complained about the routine at all.
Still, Rosemount Principal John Wollersheim insisted that the school wouldn't repeat the comedic routine, despite the fact that a similar routine had been a huge hit at a prep rally at the school years earlier.
"There is no question that people were offended," Wollersheim told the Star Tribune. "I apologize to those who were offended, and we won't do it again.
"Anything that happens at this school is the principal's responsibility. I take full responsibility. ... There shouldn't be an event in a school that we offend people with."
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