STAND UP FOR YOUR PRINCIPALS! | News | Denver | Denver Westword | The Leading Independent News Source in Denver, Colorado


Good morning, inma--, er, students. This is The Principal speaking. Now that you've all had your nice cups of gruel, it's time to get down to the serious business of education. To wit: It has been brought to my attention this morning that some of you are once again up...
Share this:
Good morning, inma--, er, students. This is The Principal speaking. Now that you've all had your nice cups of gruel, it's time to get down to the serious business of education. To wit: It has been brought to my attention this morning that some of you are once again up to your old tricks. I think you know what I'm talking about, but in case you're playing dumb, here are just a couple of examples:

...Ms. Glove reports that the frequency of armed robbery at glee club practice has risen alarmingly in recent weeks. Many of you are aware, I am sure, of the incident in which Delilah Mango, sophomore contralto, and Becky Brunt, senior soprano, coldcocked a 7-Eleven clerk on their lunch hour and made off with a dozen eggs, the new issue of Spin and a couple of Big Gulps. As a result, all members of the glee club will devote sixth period this afternoon to making license plates.

...At yesterday's varsity football workout, Coach Piltdown tells me, the entire starting backfield--and you boys know who you are, Bobby Hellanback!--yes, the entire starting backfield refused to run the triple option because they were too busy weighing out bundles of China white next to the water cooler. On school time, no less! Why, only last summer, the United States Supreme Court, in its decision affirming the right of public-school officials to subject student athletes to random drug testing, pointed out that high school jocks are role models in their schools and communities. So get with it, boys. Don't you guys realize that all those pathetic little nerds working on a cure for AIDS down in the chem lab look up to you? And by the way, if you want to beat Lusitania this Saturday, you need the triple option! So cut out the monkeyshines, willya? Go, Skullbusters!

...Mr. Cringe was also in to see me earlier today. He reports that certain members of the French Club--Samantha Craven!--have once again been operating a prostitution ring in the school infirmary. This will stop immediately, unless you girls want to do another stretch in solitary confi--, I mean study hall. After all, in his majority opinion last June, Justice Scalia pointed out that "unemancipated minors lack some of the most fundamental rights of self-determination including even the right to liberty in its narrow sense, i.e., the right to come and go at will." So while the new high court ruling, in its narrow sense, limits the invasion of any student's privacy to random urinalysis of athletes, I see no good reason why its logic in regard to adolescent "self-determination" should not also apply to students engaged in other extracurricular activities.

"School sports are not for the bashful," Justice Scalia wrote. Well, neither is French Club. With that in mind, the following students--Mary-Rose Tree, Belinda Forsake and, uh, er, Samantha Craven--will see me in my office this afternoon, immediately following eighth period.

Now I know what many of you are probably thinking. There goes old Principal Schicklgruber again, taking off on another one of his psychotic rants. The kind of thing that usually lands him in a tiny room wearing a jacket with the sleeves tied together in back. Ha, ha! Very amusing. I've heard that one before. And besides, smarty-pants, the room isn't always that tiny.

Let me answer any complaints this way: Without a little discipline around here, without a little control in this penintent--, that is, in our school, how am I to prevent a recurrence of the angel-dust epidemic that ran through our chapter of the National Honor Society two years back? If twenty or thirty of you kids aren't required to come down and pee in a bottle every week or two, how do you expect me to keep members of the debating society--Irwin Cluckey!--from hijacking another furniture truck over in Bland Valley?

Listen. People talk about the Fourth Amendment. Now, if you students would just keep your little noses in your comparative political systems textbooks, where they belong, instead of in a mound of cocaine, where they don't, you would know that the Fourth Amendment protects every American citizen from unreasonable search and seizure--even if that American citizen happens to be a certain sophomore residing at 703 Elm Street who has been selling guns out of the back of his blue Volkswagen Rabbit. Well, I think the Fourth Amendment is just fine. Always have. But now that Justice Scalia and the high court have ruled 6-3--same score as last year's win over Midville!--that the Fourth really doesn't apply to "suspicionless searches" of high school basketball players, or high jumpers, or even those Skullbusterette field hockey players who knocked over a liquor store at halftime of the Pleasanton game last April, there's really no reason we can't extend the ruling in any way we see fit.

Therefore, the yearbook staff--that's right, everybody, photographers and advertising people, too--will report to Nurse Hawk after eighth period this afternoon for complete physical examinations. Now I am fully aware that the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled last year that the drug-testing policy instituted earlier at an Oregon high school violated students' "right to privacy in their excretory functions." But the Supreme Court decision changed all that. In other words, we now own your excretory functions--every last one of 'em. Meanwhile, I have it on very good authority that the editors of this year's Lobotomy are not only the people who dusted Coach Hinder's gym shorts with cayenne pepper last week, but that they are stockpiling plastic explosives for a terrorist attack on the ROTC unit. Mark my words, kids. That's a good way to wind up in the gas chamb--, er, remedial reading lab.

In closing, let me add that I'll expect every one of you to be in your seats for Saturday's game against Lusitania by 12:30 sharp. Justice Scalia has kindly consented to sing the national anthem, and if you know what's good for you, you'll all be singing with him. Until then, this is The Principal bidding you farewell. Go, Skullbusters! And have a nice day. That means you, Norman Wart. Mark my words: We've not only seen you sagging your pants in flagrant violation of school policy, we know all about that little embezzlement scheme of yours down at the Malt N' Burger.

Speaking of criminals, how about that Bernie Bickerstaff?
At the beginning of last week's National Basketball Association draft, it looked like your Denver Nuggets would wind up with undersized shooting guard Brand Exx, from Southwestern Alaska Tech, and a couple of towel boys. But before you could say "Rodney Rogers is a lumbering clot of Nembutal," the Nuggs' general manager, president, head coach and master thief relieved the worst team in the league of its hope for the future.

Highly regarded Alabama power forward Antonio McDyess, chosen second overall by the hapless Los Angeles Clippers, is now a Nugget, thanks to Bickerstaff's sleight of hand. The disappointing Rogers and Denver's lackluster number-fifteen pick, Brent Barry, got shipped off to the Clips in a draft trade coup.

If the bunco squad hasn't busted Bernie yet, it's probably on the way. At 6-9 and 220 pounds, McDyess is widely seen as a can't-miss NBA prospect whom Bickerstaff compares to one of his earlier finds, Seattle Supersonic Shawn Kemp, and others see as another Horace Grant--but even tougher. He averaged 13.9 points and 10.2 rebounds per game in his senior year at Alabama and dazzled NCAA tournament audiences with 39 points and 19 boards against Penn, 22 points and 17 rebounds versus Oklahoma State.

On his radio show last week, ex-Nuggets coach Doug Moe also enthused over McDyess. For his part, the shy young Mississippian said it would be an honor to share the same court with his NBA hero, Dikembe Mutombo.

Before they slap the cuffs on Bickerstaff, let's hope he--or somebody--can pull off another miracle and get the mysteriously injured LaPhonso Ellis back onto the floor. If an Ellis/McDyess tandem ever gets to Denver's front line, look out.

Meanwhile, here's to you, Bernie.

Can you help us continue to share our stories? Since the beginning, Westword has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver — and we'd like to keep it that way. Our members allow us to continue offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food, and culture with no paywalls.