Reporting Hazel Sanchez
TENAFLY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A local teacher promised her students a date with Lady Gaga, but instead they got a gag. It was a good deed gone bad.
The real artist was swapped with an impostor, reports CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.
Ally Waldman and her best friend Sabrina Sadler are big Lady Gaga fans.
“I love her really much,” Sadler said.
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So imagine their excitement when a very well liked teacher told students at Maugham Elementary she was friends with the superstar singer, and they were going to meet her.
Students said the teacher told them she became friends with Lady Gaga when the singer still went by her birth name, Stefani Germanotta, and they were both interns at MTV.
“She said after the NJ ASK, which is a big test at our school, she would bring in a surprise for us. And we didn’t know what it was. And then after the NJ ASK she told us it was going to be Lady Gaga,” Waldman said.
“I was really excited. I was happy that I was going to meet somebody famous,” student Jessica Ranaldi said.
On Wednesday the teacher gathered students in the school library for a video chat with Lady Gaga and autographed pictures.
“It was so exciting when we saw that picture and she was smiling at us,” Waldman said.
“Everybody was like ‘oh my God!” another said.
But fourth grader Michael Ranaldi said many students were suspicious when the woman they thought was Gaga only typed answers and never spoke.
“At first I thought it was really weird because she had glasses on. And they said her microphone was disabled,” Michael Ranaldi said.
School administrators discovered the woman online was an impostor. On Friday they sent letters home to parents and broke the news to heartbroken kids.
Ally tore up her fake autographed photo.
“It’s not fair because, like, she lied to us,” Waldman said.
“People started like crying,” Sadler added.
“I was disappointed,” a parent said.
“By all means I thought it was well intended, and the reality is sometimes these things happen,” parent Ron Ranaldi said.
“I would be disappointed if we didn’t get to meet her and she just told us, but now I feel betrayed and just three times worse,” Michael Ranaldi said.
The school superintendent said they are taking this matter very seriously and are taking appropriate action. School administrators would not say what punishment, if any, the teacher will face.
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