It came as a surprise to many when Unfunded Educational Decree #32,257 was unveiled at our Faculty Meeting today. Of course I’ve known about this UED for a few weeks now because I have carefully crafted the inside sources that are vital to every pundit and reporter in today’s 24 hour news cycle. For those of you who skipped the mandatory meeting today or have somehow managed to be employed somewhere other than the Sacred Halls Of Supercilious Sneering, UED #32,257 has made it illegal to bully other people whilst attending school in our great state and it has also approved the rampant use of Random Capitalization. I did have to ask if being bullied into attending a meeting about bullying was a bit ironic, but I was told that I was being way too existential and to sit down, shut up, and eat my cookie.
As our Fearless Leader began explaining the new UED, two thoughts sprang to the forefront of my enormous cranium and collided painfully, causing me to snort in surprise and temporarily lose the ability to focus for a few seconds. They took their time in getting untangled, but eventually I was able to jot them down:
1. Isn’t harassing people in school already illegal?
2. Will this mean the end of SASS?
In answer to the first question, yes it was already illegal for students to deride or otherwise harass other people at school. You have to understand, folks, that this was before anyone actually realized that students were being harassed at school! Now that it has come to our attention that students are actually abusing each other despite it being against the rules, we have to step up our game a notch and make it Extra Special Illegal. (If this reminds you of Animal House’s “double secret probation” it should because that’s where our State Education Secretary got the idea. Apparently he’s a huge John Belushi fan.) Now that bullying is specifically against the rules, teachers and students will of course finally get the message and Be Nice to everyone. Problem Solved. So I don’t want to hear any silly questions about how you’re supposed to be liable for behavior that students are doing behind your back and on the internet or how you’re supposed to differentiate the Truly Bullied from the Unpopular Whiners. I said Problem Solved!
Now in answer the the second (and altogether more important) question concerning the end of SASS as we’ve come to know and love it. The new rule states specifically that students may not bully other students or staff and that the staff may not bully students, but it says NOTHING about the staff bullying each other! Apparently that’s considered regular old workplace harassment and has already been dealt with satisfactorily (in that it doesn’t happen anymore). It does appear, however, that just as the shaolin monks in their remote mountain temples had to spar with each other, we’re being forced to hone our skills here against the distant possibility that the people will call on our supernal powers of sarcasm and ironic observation to save them from themselves. Perhaps if we train hard enough Sato will grace us with the ultimate benediction, “The SASS is strong with this one.”