They shrieked, they screamed, they sobbed. Some had cut class and sneaked off campus to be there. Others called in sick. Others had their moms pick them up early from school.
All for a 30-second glimpse of Justin Bieber on Friday afternoon.
About 30 teenage girls — standing in the rain, waiting for the expected black Bieber limo — surged forward, crushing up against the beige SUV when the teen idol pulled up and rolled down the back window for an all-too-brief moment of fan frenzy.
Bieber, 18, came to Saint Andrew's School Friday for a short appearance for Pencils of Promise, one of his favorite charities.
The mini-mob was all outstretched arms and cellphone cameras pointed at the 18-year-old Bieber, sitting in the back seat wearing sunglasses, a T-shirt and a blue baseball cap worn backward.
And the screaming didn't even stop when he pulled away and into the Saint Andrews campus.
"He touched me and he touched my phone," sobbed Lexi Segal, 13, tears streaming down her face, still shaking from her brush with celebrity.
Segal's T-shirt said "The Future Mrs. Bieber," and her sneakers declared "LS [heart] JB" in sparkles.
"Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god!" Danielle Catalano cried almost uncontrollably as she ran back to her friends. "We saw Justin Bieber. I got a picture of his hat! Oh my god, it was so great!"
Some of the girls waved their posters — such as Emily Meyers' "Kiss Me" — and plenty tried to get autographs ... on their hands.
And when he pulled away, a dozen girls ran after the GMC Yukon and past Boca Raton police and school security and onto the campus. They were turned away at Andrews Hall, where Bieber appeared in the 653-seat Roberts Theatre, part of an hourlong presentation on Pencils of Promise that included a talk by Adam Braun, the charity's founder.
Braun's brother, Scooter, is Bieber's manager.
Bieber was there to congratulate and pose for pictures with three Saint Andrew's students who raised more than $51,000 for the charity, which builds schools in impoverished places around the world. Students who were recording the performance with their smartphones were urged by Braun to send an email and make a pledge to do something to make the world a better place.
"If we raise enough money, he said he will come back again," said Alexandra Rubenstein, 13, a member of the school chorus, which sang the Bieber hit "Never Say Never" before the heartthrob took the stage.
Bieber sang only part of one song, "Baby," said student Rebecca Lowen, 13. She said he was shorter and skinnier — and had a better voice — than she had thought.
Sixth-grader Emily Cohen was sitting in the third row with her homeroom. And Justin Bieber touched her arm.
"I was screaming," Cohen raved later, reliving her moment. "We were so happy we couldn't believe it."
Copyright © 2012, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
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