One school’s unusual changes in the hallways and cafeteria

Lunchroom will have ‘judgment-free’ seating area and all-access TV will allow parents to monitor whether their kids are wearing ninja clothes to class.

To everyone in the Pleasant Valley High School community, the faculty and staff say, “Welcome Back!” This newsletter will bring you up to speed on some exciting changes that should enhance the learning process for our student population during the upcoming academic year.

The most significant improvement accomplished during the summer break was a massive technical upgrade that will make our school the first in the state to be outfitted with broadcast-quality HD closed circuit television. A cooperative agreement with UniCast, our local cable operator, will allow subscribers to monitor the Pleasant View CCTV output for just $4.99 per month.

This electronic bridge will create badly needed transparency throughout the entire school. We recommend monitoring your student’s first period class regularly. That way, if Joey or Janie leaves home wearing the nice ensemble you picked out at JC Penney but shows up in homeroom dressed like a ninja assassin, you won’t be the last person to know about it.

Also, anyone who observes a student copying someone else’s answer sheet during an exam is urged to report the incident on our new Testing Integrity Hot Line at 1-555-URBUSTED.

The bus pickup schedules will be arriving by mail in the next few days. Make sure your student knows the rules of bus behavior. We have also instituted a new policy that awards special school service credits to any student who shows up at the bus stop with a full can of gasoline. The buses use regular unleaded. Please do not substitute biodiesel or some corn-based alternative.

We are pleased to announce a new “judgment-free” eating area in the cafeteria. Students who choose to occupy this section will be required to take a pledge not to criticize other diners regarding issues such as meat consumption, pesticide use, or corporate farm ownership. The motto of the judgment-free eating area is “Taste, Chew, and Enjoy.”

All students should be reminded that lockers are for personal use only. They cannot be rented out to third parties for storage or other commercial purposes. Items requiring refrigeration are strongly discouraged.

The career counseling office has reached a compromise on the controversial issue of allowing military recruiters on campus. Armed services personnel have been assigned one-half of a table on Wednesdays. The other half will be occupied by a representative of AARP, which is now working to broaden its demographic base.

There will be a new face walking the halls this year. His name is Robert Canfield, and he’ll be on duty for unspecified periods of time each week. Mr. Canfield is not a custodian. He’s a partner at Canfield, Turner, and Martin, the law firm we’ve hired to assist with dispute-resolution procedures. The firm will have unlimited access to all material recorded on our new CCTV system.

Let’s all have a great year. Oh, one final point: The new standard we’ve adopted for campus attire – no shirt, no shoes, no schooling.

Jeffrey Shaffer writes humor from Portland, Ore.

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