By Max Fontaine | Because Clara Frolic-Glendale had a dental appointment
Bass Lake High School’s annual talent show looked like a routine event Thursday, until it devolved into near-fisticuffs.
The event took place in the school’s lunchroomatorium. Two music acts and a dance routine went without a hitch, drawing a mostly enthusiastic response from the gathering of students, faculty members and administrators.
But trouble started during a comedy routine by senior Trent McCall. Heckling began almost immediately after McCall’s opening line.
“How are we doin’ today, Bass Lake High School?” McCall asked the crowd.
“How’s your mom doin’?!” boomed an unidentified voice from the back of the room.
McCall continued, apparently unfazed.
“So, um, I graduate this year,” McCall said. “Scary, huh? Anybody else with me here?”
A male student, later identified as Vryce Tatum, 16, tossed a taunt toward McCall.
“Hey, McCall, are you gonna tell some jokes?!” he shouted.
With that, McCall jumped off the temporary stage, ran to Tatum and put him in a chokehold. A mild melee ensued.
Superintendent Ham Serling rushed to the microphone in an attempt to restore order.
“Children, kids, cool it now,” Serling said. “Stop, or you could face expulsion proceedings, per guidelines clearly stated in our student handbook — which is also accessible on mobile devices, BTW.”
The volatile situation subsided less than 45 seconds later, as students turned their attention to mobile devices, spreading news and video of the ordeal onto various online platforms.
“The talent show is now officially over,” he said. “But first, my daughter Abigail will play ‘Imagine’ on piano. Come on up, honey!”
According to school officials, no student will be disciplined because of the incident, but parents will receive a stern email notification within three or four weeks.
The BLHS talent show, held almost every spring since 1963, now faces a murky future.
“That’s just your opinion,” said an administrative assistant.
Editor’s note: Judges awarded first prize in the 2016 talent contest to Abigail Serling.