By Kathy Chouteau
No, Kennedy High School Principal Jarod Scott is not flying to space courtesy of Elon Musk. And a mysterious candidate with the mononymous name, “Paris,” is not running for mayor of Richmond. Call it spring fever or pandemic punchiness, but these are just the latest crop of pranks on what is apparently everyone’s favorite holiday in Richmond: April Fool’s Day.
This morning, an exciting message was posted on Kennedy High School’s Facebook page: “Our very own Principal Scott is heading to SPACE!! Please congratulate him and join us on May 30 as we watch our Eagle Leader FLY HIGH!!”
The post was accompanied by a photo of a jubilant Principal Scott giving the thumbs up next to another photo of a SpaceX rocket launch. Above the photos is the header, “Breaking News,” followed by this message: “Principal Scott has been selected to join the next SpaceX flight to the edge of space!!! This was a special opportunity presented to educators across the country and he beat out thousands for the opportunity. Please congratulate him on this special honor—we will watch live as a school as the launch is broadcast May 30!!!!”
It turns out the joke was on Principal Scott too, who arrived at school this morning unaware of the prank, only to be greeted by congratulations from numerous people—including his boss, West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) Secondary Network III Executive Director Summer Sigler. The principal told the Standard he responded, “I don’t know what you mean.”
Eventually, Kennedy High Assistant Principal Helene Burks was revealed as the mastermind behind the prank—all in a good day’s fun at the school.
It seems Assistant Principal Burks wasn’t the only prankster afoot in Richmond this morning. Richmond Mayor Tom Butt issued an E-Forum message early today entitled, “Exciting New Candidate Enlivens Mayors Race.” The candidate, “Paris,” who was apparently “born and bred in Richmond,” was touted as a “particularly attractive candidate to the environmental community.”
Alas, Paris—described as a vegan—was ultimately revealed to be one of the mayor’s famed goats. Yet another one of Mayor Butt’s annual April Fool’s Day pranks!