There's a line between pranks that are fun and others that just go too far and I think a lot of it has to do with the intention of the joke and who's carrying that joke out.
Some people use pranks as an excuse to lighten the mood and put a smile on the face of whoever they're pranking.
Others use it as an excuse to just live out whatever crumbiness they have lingering deep in their soul. Unfortunately for the teachers and classmates of the jokesters in this list, the pranks fell into the latter category.
1. John Wayne and woodshop.
In 8th grade, I had a woodshop teacher who was an old curmudgeonly dude. Hugely tall (seriously like 6'8) and deaf in one ear. He was a nice enough guy if you paid attention and didn't make his life/job harder.
Some 8th grade kids in my class were being little $!#$* on the last day of school and wanted to be mean to the teacher, so they snuck out of class on his free period and into the woodshop and into his office where they ripped to shreds his autographed poster of John Wayne.
When the teacher returned and found it, he started crying. Apparently John Wayne was his idol, and well, a personalized and autographed (like in person from John Wayne) poster was not something he was going to be able to replace.
As far as I know, everyone knew who did it but without any actual evidence no one got in trouble and the teacher retired at the end of the year.
2. The mean song and school administration.
Not my class but it happened at my high school. There was a teacher who had just taken a year off of teaching because her son had died in a horrible accident (he got crushed by a farming tractor). When the teacher came back to school, one of her classes wrote a song about the accident and they sang it to her on her second day back. She quit that day.
The other story is slightly related because his was the school's administrations doing. We had the most wonderful PE teacher. He was very patient with us and would always listen to us and offer advice. So our last year in high school was also his last year there. He was 64 and was considered too old to be a PE teacher, even though he was fit as a horse. We could all tell that he was very sad because teaching was his passion. On his last day our class bought him flowers and healthy snacks. He cried.
Two years later he killed himself. He left behind his wife and their two (adult) children. The school held a memorial service and around a thousand people showed up to pay their respects. Sadly I couldn't make it to the service but I cried a lot that day.
3. Threatening a 5-year-old.
I remember that a colleague of mine had a class, in it was one kid who had already gotten himself in trouble: stealing, police at his house, you name it.
This kid got a hold of her number, called it (not anonymously, stupid for him) and her 5-year old daughter answered. He started saying how he would kill her and her mother, throw her off the stairs, etc. Kid got arrested, expelled and is, as I hear it, doing time for this and a robbery that happened shortly after.
4. Cutting the braid.
We had this teacher for Latin & Greek. She's nice, but she can be a bit boring sometimes. She always wears her hair in a really long braid, like, it goes to the bottom of her back. Some girl cut off the braid some years ago and was of course expelled.
5. The teacher with a movement disorder.
We had a substitute teacher at my elementary school. Very congenial guy, pretty intelligent, could substitute for a homeroom teacher or the art teacher and make the class BETTER than our normal teachers. Details can be blurry after almost 30 years, but I can still remember how well he could draw.
Unfortunately, he also had some sort of motor disorder... I wouldn't be qualified to tell you what it was, but it worked quick. Goes without saying, kids being as cruel as they are, he quickly earned the nickname of Mr. Retardo from my trashy-ass classmates. Maybe I did it once or twice... I don't think I did, I liked him a lot, but I did some mean things from time to time too. Didn't seem to phase him- he still came to work and gave everything he had to us. They would make fun of the way he said "Goood morning.... claaaaaass..." because of the way he slurred his words.
I think I remember hearing that the last time he substituted, he had to leave because he lost control of his bladder and pissed himself. I don't want to think about how mean the kids were that day.
When I was in 4th grade, my last year at this particular school, I remember being at an intramural basketball game and seeing an older woman sit down on the bleachers leading a grown man who was clearly disabled and shuffling like a toddler. It was him. He was unshaved, dissheveled, and just staring at the floor ahead of him. My friend Matt (maybe the nicest kid I ever knew, he's a minister now and I trust that he is a very good one,) suggested that we go say hi to him. We went over at halftime (with our coach's permission) and tried to start a conversation with him. The woman (I assume she was his mother) told us that he probably wouldn't talk, but that he was glad to see us. Whatever disorder he was suffering from had taken over. Matt said something about missing his drawing, and the woman started crying.
I don't know how eternity works, like if there's a heaven or reincarnation or anything like that, but I hope that man is free of his suffering. He dedicated his last able years to helping children, and I think he's earned that.
6. Concentration camp survivor.
Not my story but happened to my dad's teacher.
When my dad was in middle school he had a teacher who survived a concentration camp, who I guess due to malnourishment lost his balance-ability (terminology?) and had to either walk super close to a wall so as not to fall.
The kids in the school used to mock him a lot since it looked silly, that is until the teacher broke down and told the class about why he walked like he did.
7. Hard of hearing.
Had this teacher who we all hated but loved in hindsight bc she put up with our $!#$* and we had her for like 2 years in a row. Anywho, one week she had some surgery on her ears and she told us she couldn’t hear very well at all. So we test the waters and she seriously couldn’t hear us if we were loudly whispering.
We start playing the [expletive] game and one kid starts yelling it and other curse words. We tell him to stop and he goes “what?? Dumb $!#$* can’t hear any way”. Then the teacher goes “I’ve heard everything you guys have said for the past 20 minutes” but in that really choked-up tone like she was fighting back a fountain of tears.
8. A mean Christmas gift.
A few of us planned a Secret Santa for our class. We invited our teacher to be a part of it too. Being the "mom" of the department, she was very excited.
On the day of the exchange, a friend of mine noticed a gift deliberately kept at the bottom of the stairs. It was anonymously addressed to the teacher. She picked it up and passed it on the teacher.
Later the teacher called her, asking who the gift was from. According to her it wasn't very "Christmassy." It was a book called "How to be a Good Teacher".
She might not have been the best teacher, but that was just mean. The person who did it showed no remorse. Her friends just laughed with her. In fact, when she'd first drawn the teacher's name, she'd immediately thought of this book. When the teacher found out later, she was in denial, because this one had always been a "good girl." She blamed another student who'd always given her trouble.
Basically it was a $!#$* show all around and we learned never to do anything nice for our class again.
9. Classroom twerk.
Idk if a video is floating around of this still. It was a huge deal in my local town. There was this high school that was known for how bad its students were. Drugs, gang fights, etc. Anyways in the videos, theres this substitute teacher trying to calm down this unruly class. The class is ignoring him and mocking him. Suddenly, these teenage girls get on top of their desk and start dancing nasty and super sexual. One goes to the teacher and starts trying to twerk on him. The teacher backs away but the girl keeps going after him. It all ended up on the news, idk what happen to the sub, but I believe the girls got suspended.
10. The worst nickname ever.
Female teacher had a number of miscarriage(s).
Student body nicknamed her Ms. Carriage.
I was present when a kid called her this name in a $!#$* you sort of way. You could see her heart break right then and there. She ran out of the room crying uncontrollably.
Even sadder, she fell a few years later while on school property, hit the back of her head and died.
God bless you Ms. Wendel.
11. The teacher everyone walked all over.
One teacher at my high school was broken. I don’t know how it happened, but she was a constant joke.
Kids would see how far they could push her. They would yell at her in her office after the semester was over to get better grades and she would relent and do it. People would write tests with the textbook just open on their desk and tell her to $!#$* off if she told them to put it away and she would. One time, a kid rolls in the TV on a cart usually for Bill Nye and the likes, hooks up a DDR dance pad and plays it with the volume loud while she’s teaching. She was angry but... did nothing. She just shouted over it and taught and pretended nothing was happening. I don’t know what happened to her to have absolutely no fight in her. If I remember, her name was Ms. Dunn and she was therefore nicknamed Ms. Dumb. I felt so bad for her.
In Year 7 (age 11), my music teacher, think his name was Mr. Rayner or something.
There was a girl in my class who didn't like being told what to do at all, she really was a tearaway, always had been since she was younger, she got [upset] because he sent her out of the room for being rude, so she climbed up on the piano and stamped on it, spat all over the keyboards, took the teachers glasses from his face and stamped on them and pulled his tie really tight around his neck before spitting in his face.
She was moved to another school and the teacher just disappeared, we never saw him again.
Maybe not that bad in comparison to others, but I still feel sorry for that guy 14 years later.
13. Smart knife-man.
In our class, we had a guy who was expelled from every other school in the area. He was supposedly intellectually gifted and skipped two grades, but was just a total jerk. On our school, he threatened other students with knives, regularly got into fights, and argued with teachers all the time.
However, the reason he was expelled from one school was that he bullied a teacher there for quite some time, until she finally broke down when he put a pig's heart into her bag during break.
He's now working in the booze section of a local supermarket.
Want something more about him? He threatened a friend and me with a knife after school once, and me and my friend went to the principal the next day to complain. However, she just told us: "You see, when [student] becomes a famous professor later in life, you can tell everyone you went to the same class as him!" I was quite baffled to say the least, I mean, he does wear a white lab coat in the supermarket...
14. Very, very awkward.
A teacher our high school was known for crying and his son was in his class 4th period. Every period that day he told a story about how he caught a fish over the weekend. As he's telling the story to the 4th period class his son stands up an yells "NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR STUPID $!#$*ING FISH STORY" and stomps out of the room. His dad just puts his head down and cries for 5 min.
15. Class clown with a mean streak.
When my mother was in school, mid-late 80s I believe, she had this class clown kid in her class. It was a science lesson and they all hated this teacher, especially this kid, so he secretly told everyone in the class to turn on their Bunsen burners when class ended and to just run out, so they did. As this poor teacher is hurrying around to turn them off, this kid pulls out a match from his pocket and wiggles it while he’s standing at the doorway grinning, apparently the teacher went white and kind of froze. Later on that teacher quit, I don’t think much happened to the kid.
Another story she has, not really the ‘worst’, just mean, I’m pretty sure it involves the same kid. They had a religious studies teacher who was all for celibacy till marriage and trying to teach the kids of the importance of it, the kid asks if she’s married, she says no, so he ridiculed her for being a virgin the rest of the lesson.
16. The disrespect.
I was in band in high school. My senior year, the freshman class was especially disrespectful to the director. One day they pushed him too far and he sort of snapped, but not in the big explosive way. He told us he had lost hope in us, calmly walked to his office and closed/locked the door. For a week and a half, myself and the other seniors would come in and lead class. For that time, we came in and made sure everyone got instruments and music. We usually led a group rehearsal for a while and then broke into our respective sections to fine tune the musical problems. One day, at the beginning of class, the director called my friend and I (the two at the helm of this student-leading) into his office and thanked us for proving to him that his work wasn't in vain.
17. Locked in a closet.
I had this teacher in middle school that students enjoyed messing with. Students threw things at her when she wasn't looking, put glue in her hair, and other horrible things. Over a decade later, I worked for the district and heard stories that she she still gets messed with. One student put a "Made in China" sticker on her because she is Asian. They went as far as locking her in a closet.
18. The egg eyeball attack.
A group of guys at my high school was throwing eggs at other students at the train station on the last day of school for the year. One guy threw an egg at a girl that hit her eye and the cracked eggshell lodged into her eyeball, blinding her.
19. No more fun at work.
We had a very animated and friendly LA teacher. He was genuinely a great guy and would always joke around with his students; running around, high-fiving ppl, and being goofy to keep our attention.
Two girls in my high school though it would be funny to write him an anonymous letter about how he made them feel uncomfortable and unsafe when he joked around, got "too close" to them, and felt that he was inappropriately touching them. The teacher had a talk with the class admitting that he got this letter, that he was sorry for making anyone uncomfortable, that he would be taking a much more traditional "hands off" approach to teaching, and that he had told his superiors about the letter and they were starting an investigation.
One way or another, other students found out that these two girls wrote the letter as a joke and threatened to tell the teacher the truth if they didn't at the end of class. The girls admitted it but that teacher was never really his goofy old self for the rest of the year.
20. The old let's lift a car routine.
We had a teacher who was a bit of a $!#$*. One day a whole bunch of people got together , lifted up his car (I think it was a Mini or a Citroen 2CV) and re-parked it in a walled-off enclosure. Don't know how he got it out again.
21. Pretty Points.
A bunch of kids locked/barricaded my freshmen English teacher inside the office on her classroom. Then they locked the door to the classroom and turned off the light. The offices/classrooms had these really thick tinted windows so nobody could see in or hear her well, and she had just started working there and didn't have an office phone yet. Apparently she was there most of the day as everybody thought she was out sick or something and were happy to take the free period.
She was nice, but would always leave her office door wide open because of this. She had something called "Pretty points" though. You couldn't get 100% on an assignment unless you made it colorful and pretty with markers and glitter and $!#$*. I did not like her because of that alone.
22. Heart attack.
Not my school but an older guy was a teacher at another high school and the kids didn’t really respect him. He had a heart attack while teaching , started to grab his chest and yelled “children help me!” As the class laughed at him he then yelled “help I’m dying!” And they all laughed harder.
I’m sure at least a few thought the guy was joking but a good majority must have known it was legit and laughed at him, pretty disturbing.
Edit: he survived I guess and I think he retired.
23. Horse laxatives.
Obligatory not my story, it’s my dad’s. He had a pregnant teacher some time in middle school, and some of his classmates found it funny to put horse laxatives in her morning coffee. The school found out the boys did it because they were bragging about it. (My dad grew up in a farming community, to explain the horse laxatives. I don’t know where they carry those???)
Yes, they were expelled, but I think she had miscarried.
24. Bullying a truly nice man.
We had a little group of disrespectful rebels in our school. They would call teachers by their first name, bully teachers, insult them, refuse to learn or do any work, would just walk out of the classroom whenever and would leave campus whenever knowing that the cops can't really do anything about it.
One particular instance I remember well is these 2 little $!#$* ragging on one of the school's favorite and most chill math teachers. They were joking about how being a teacher is a joke, the pay is terrible, he's wasting his time, he should do something else with his life if he's that smart etc.etc.
This particular math teacher was a saint (probably still is if he's still working). He is a real gentlemen, would give a stranger the coat of his back if it meant the stranger was comfortable. He was a real tutor and never minded staying 10 minutes late to go over a lesson that they didn't quite get during class.
Basically, he was an amazing guy and these little [kids] made his life hell for that entire semester.
Man, kids can be the worst sometimes.