Zoom Pep Rally T-Shirt Toss Ends in Several Broken Chromebooks


The virtual spring pep rally took a turn for the worse. Several broken Chromebooks were held in a crate, waiting to be shipped out for repairs.

Acelyn Goris, Reporter

Woodbridge High School’s first virtual pep rally ended tragically, for several excited students, moments after the first t-shirt toss when they frantically reached out, breaking their Chromebook screens in the process.

Due to the pandemic, the entire school is on remote instruction, which made cramming 1,500 students, as well as faculty, into the gym a logistical impossibility under current CDC guidelines. The administration decided, instead, to live stream the event to all students.

During every pep rally, Dr. Lottmann gets the students, by section, to yell part of the school motto, “We Are Barrons,” to raise the energy. Because the event was live streamed to Instagram, there was no way to tell which section was the loudest, but it did seem that the athletes, once again, were fully engaged as the comment crawl on the live video was inundated with misspellings of “Barrons.” 

After declaring the athletes the victors, Dr. Lottmann instructed his socially distanced administration team to throw t-shirts into the crowd. Astoundingly, the number of live viewers plummeted dramatically, and for a moment, Dr. Lottmann thought they lost the feed.

“We learned, afterwards, that a number of students instinctively thrust their hands out to catch a t-shirt but, in the process, inadvertently punched their Chromebooks. Some of them wound up flying off students’ tables. I feel bad, but what can you do?” Dr. Lottmann said.

Now, the school’s tech liaisons are busy assessing $50 fines for broken screens and sending the broken ones back to Lenovo for repair, all for the chance to catch a free t-shirt. In the past, students have said said they would do “whatever it takes for the free shirt.”

This year’s spring pep rally will certainly go down as the most chaotic and memorable pep rally yet.