Dufour Tours school buses line the company's Main Street lot in Williamstown, their tires refilled with air.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Police are investigating an apparent April Fool's Day prank that forced a one-hour delay at Mount Greylock Regional School and Williamstown Elementary on Tuesday morning.
Police were called to the scene of the Dufour Tours bus lot on Main Street at 6:35 a.m. on Tuesday after Dufour personnel found that air had been let out of the tires on seven of eight buses on the lot.
School officials used their automated telephone, or "robocall" systems, to notify families of the delays. The same buses transport students to the junior-senior high school before going back on the road to make runs for the elementary school pupils.
WES Principal Joelle Brookner said the school's families took the delay in stride.
"There was some gentle joking at drop-off that when the call came, some thought it was me playing an April Fool's joke, but I reassured folks that no one would ever use the school's emergency call system as a forum for a joke," Brookner wrote in reply to an email seeking comment. "One parent thanked me and said it ended up being a gift because she and her daughter spent the hour reading together.
"Suffice it to say, it was a surprise to everyone, particularly because it happened on the first morning in recent memory that was actually beautiful and sunny."
A couple of children were dropped off by parents at the elementary school at the regular 8:30 drop-off time, Brookner said. Those families did not receive the automated calls because they have new cell phone numbers and did not change the number on file with the school.
The "early" children were allowed to play in the school's gymnasium or spend time in the cafeteria under the supervision of school personnel until the school day began, Brookner said.