An American college professor has had to rethink his strict rule about answering cell phones in class after being the victim of an April Fools' prank that has gone viral.
Stephen Barrows, an economics professor who had recently started teaching at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, had declared that any student who received a cell phone call during class had to answer it on speakerphone.
That left him open to a top-notch prank by student Taylor Nefcy, who had a friend call her ''confirming'' her pregnancy with an out-of-the-picture father.
Barrows told Michigan Live his mind stopped when the caller - actually Nefcy's friend - uttered the words ''pregnancy resource centre''.
"My mind just said, 'Did I hear what I thought I heard? I can't believe I did this to her,'" Barrows recalled.
Barrows covered his face with some papers and apologised before being informed that it was all an April Fools' joke.
Half the students in the class were in on the prank, while others were also fooled by the call.
Fellow student Bailey Terebinski, who knew what was going to happen, said it was hard for the students to contain their laughter as the teacher handed out a pop quiz. "We're like, you don't even know what's coming," Bailey told Michigan Live.
Nefcy, a theatre major, said she had thought of the prank a few days before but the details didn't fall into place until that morning. She didn't want the news to be about a family member's illness or death, as that would be too mean, she thought.
The video has attracted over 6.6 million views since being posted to YouTube, and the students have made several American TV appearances.
Barrows was still laughing about it days later. "They got me so good,'' he says.
He has also changed his mind about the speakerphone rule.
We give him an A+ for being a good sport.
- Fairfax NZ