Parents can sleep easy tonight.
Local administrator Mike Curswads reassured government officials, reporters, and anyone who had a day off, that all students will get through the school year unscathed by small arms fire or explosive devices. He couldn’t promise, but, crossing fingers, he added, “Here’s hoping.”
During a recent tour of Our Falls Elementary School, with a total student population of 59, Curswads proudly pointed out the results of recent security spending. “We have front doors that can withstand a small nuclear blast,” he bragged. “They cost a little more, but I think they’re worth it.”
He pointed to the post-Apocalyptic playground--a series of bunkers, corrugated iron, layers of barbed wire, small fires, and look-out towers. “Our kids learn early how to prepare for a surprise attack.” He slid into a bunker and led whoever dared follow him through a series of tunnels. “When they hear the S-T-U-F-F hit the fan, they can work together to decide which tunnels to follow for a quick escape—their lives literally depend on it. We find it develops their collaborative and team-building skills.”
Curswads smiled dourly, “You know, it’s heartwarming to see how kids open up to each other when 50-caliber rounds are whizzing over their heads. They literally cling to each other all day long. Now that's friendship.”
The tour continued after a complimentary lunch of hazelnut coffee and discarded bread sticks. Curswads agreed to take a few questions, “as long as they’re not from bleeding-heart, radical, left-wing, crybaby snowflakes. They're worse than millennials!”
Mrs. Pludd, a parent with a student in Our Falls, nervously asked, “Could you tell me when I can expect my little Elizabeth to stop the night sweats and bedwetting? She seems stressed being so safe. Her drinking is getting out of control.”
Curswads: “First graders always experience a little anxiety transitioning from Kindergarten. I assure you, she’ll be just fine. PTSD varies by student. But if she can’t cut the mustard, we’ll transfer her to a less secure locale. It’s up to you. Just ask yourself: Are you the kind of parent who doesn’t mind visiting the ICU to view your child’s body aerated by high-caliber bullets?”
After sipping an unsecured hazelnut, a reporter asked about classroom security.
“I’m glad you asked that,” Curswads smiled confidently. “Our classrooms are all connected to a central security office through closed-circuit TV. We monitor everything students do, right down to picking their noses. We monitor their computer behavior, and we remove any students, especially third graders, who explore sites that threaten national security. We're proud our current enrollment is down to 59. We rooted out a lot of sleeper-cell material.”
Curswads sucked in a deep bureaucratic breath: “With our newest investments, we employ sensors that monitor student breathing, pulse rate, and potential urine leakage. If one of the little buggers even thinks about committing an act of violence against a fellow student, contrary to school policy or national security, we’ll know about it. ASAP.”
"But what about spelling?" asked Frieda Mums, local Grandma and Apple Pie tester.
"Absolutely. We spell success "K-E-V-L-A-R." Vests, book bags, milk cartons," Curswads said.
"And testing?" the mayor yawned. Too much talking made him sleepy.
"We test our equipment daily. The custodian tests playground equipment to ensure any burning is within prescribed standards. We test all art projects and shred any at risk of spreading the virus of independent thinking. Vocabulary words are screened for possible subversion and fingerprinted. Sometimes we use them to smoke up the playground."
As the tour ended, Curswads sniffed into a Kleenex, clearly overcome. "I can’t even imagine a world without our high-tech system."
"But isn't it expensive?" asked an unemployed free-lance writer and Bernie Sanders supporter. He'd clearly been sharing a bottle with little Elizabeth.
Curswads spit in contempt. "Oh, sure, liberal I’ve heard it all before: What happened to the money? There’s nothing left for books or pencils or fieldtrips or single-ply for the bathrooms. I assure you, I’ll sacrifice their educations to protect our kids."
He adjusted his pants before continuing. "And they can always hold it, and go at home. That’s what I did as a kid. I still do it as an adult. I’m sure you’d do the same. It’s just a good common-sense use of taxpayer dollars.”
“And don’t forget,” his secretary/security supervisor/handcuff distributor, Mrs. Poriliah, chimed in, “our security system monitors our teachers, too—no extra charge. If they stray from lesson plans, we schedule a meeting immediately, and well, let me just say, it’s not pretty. Most of our first-year teachers don’t become second-year teachers, thank God.”