EVANSTON β Two prospective students and their helicopter parents died Tuesday during a tour of Northwestern. The tragedy occurred after Mrs. Maddie Lees, 46, and Ms. Rebecca Schlessinger, 48, started asking a series of questions about standardized test scores that spun out of control.
Mrs. Lees started to lose control when she learned that SAT IIs were recommended, but not required, even though she personally paid for a private US History tutor and do you know how much those cost.
The tour guide, George Smiley, tried to diffuse the situation by talking about the history of Kresge.
βI was getting pretty nervous when they started hovering over me and even walking in front of me,β said Smiley. βI mean, Iβm used to having parents ask all the questions in a tour and telling their kids to shut up, but this was something else.β
βI canβt wait to turn this story into an endearing anecdote,β Smiley added.
Mrs. Schlessinger, seeing an opportunity to befriend the tour guide and therefore guarantee admission for her daughter, told the guide he this was the best tour she had ever been on. She went on to say what a great SAT II policy Northwestern has.
In response, Mrs. Lees swung out her purse and pulled out information brochures from other schools, pointing at their SAT II policy. Seeing the prestige of the schools on the information brochures, Mrs. Schlessinger whipped out her purse and pulled out her copies. The two purses became tangled and mothers veered off course, crashing into the Lakefill.
Their children, Zack Lees and Lauren Schlessinger, were taken down with them.
“It’s a real tragedy,” Northwestern admissions officer Rita Conroy said. “Those kids could have lowered our admission rate.”