CHULA VISTA, Calif. – A Montgomery High School student who was dared to jump into a shark exhibit during a field trip said he regrets what he did and looks forward to making it up to the Living Coast Discovery Center.
It happened Tuesday at the aquarium in Chula Vista. The junior, who asked not to be named, said he did it as a dare in exchange for cash and a designer belt.
The teenager said he wants to express his regret for what he did.
“It was a dare and it was a bet,” he said. “I regret it, I didn’t think of the consequences that were going to happen, and I realize it was very dangerous now that I did it.”
Sweetwater Union High School District officials called the incident “a regrettable and unfortunate incident” and that supervisors were on the trip but not at the exhibit when the incident took place. Administrators at Montgomery High did not respond to requests for comment.
The center issued a statement which read in part, “we are disappointed and saddened by this unfortunate incident but are thankful that no animals or guests were injured.”
Helen Copeland, a retired middle school science teacher, saw the video and said she couldn’t understand why no one was supervising the students.
“I can see teenagers doing those kinds of things, very inappropriate,” Copeland said. “They could’ve harmed the animals. There should’ve been other adults with these students at all times. It can’t be always left to the parks, the recreation departments and other adults to man the manners of the children that are going to these places.”
The teen expressed how much he is looking forward to fulfilling his required 30 hours of community service.
“An apology to the center that I shouldn’t have done that and I’m sorry for doing that and I hope to make it up some way,” the student said. “I’m looking forward to helping them out after what I did. I want to apologize to all the chaperones there and all the teachers that were there, making them look bad. I regret it.”