Friday, October 27, 2006

There Are No More Superheroes. . .

. . .At Least Not At Long Beach High School!

The following story, as appeared in yesterday's Newsday, struck us as sooooooo utterly ridiculous that we just had to reprint it here at The Community Alliance blog.

First, it was an uproar over Dodgeball -- the great emotional scar raiser among elementary school kids -- which ultimately led to its virtual banishment in school districts across America (including New York).

Then it was Tag -- yes, Tag, as in, "you're it!" -- deemed by school administrators to be too dangerous, and now, along with peanut butter and some semi-automatic weapons, banned from school grounds from California to Massachusetts.

And now, its the Superhero who gets the boot -- or at least Captain Underpants -- who, even on Superhero Day, has no place at Long Beach High School.

So, all you would-be Supermen, Spiderwomen, Batpersons, and other superheroes in tights and underwear (that would be most of our childhood champions, wouldn't it?), be gone. There is no longer a place for you on school grounds.

Seems that kids can't even been kids anymore. No more running in the schoolyard (just busing 20 miles away through heavy traffic). No more peanut butter sandwiches (sloppy joes riddled with e-coli are on the menu. See your local school lunch lady). And, while you, Mister and Miss high school student, can wear your pajamas, and clothes with more holes than material, to class on a daily basis, please, for goodness sake, leave your underpants at home!

Sure, we need some decorum in our schools, if not elsewhere. No gang colors. No streaking through the hallways. No "kick me" post-its on the back of fellow student's shirts.

Still, with all the stress and craziness today's children face, in school and out -- what with growing up in a world where a raving lunatic has his finger on the nuclear button (choose your lunatic, Kim Jung Il or George W. Bush), and the very real prospect that, at any given moment, a madman with an assault weapon may burst into the classroom and randomly open fire, looms in every schoolhouse from Columbine to Lancaster -- maybe letting kids throw a Dodgeball at one another, risk danger to life and skinned knee as they play tag, and wear their underwear on the outside every once in a while, wouldn't be such a bad thing.

Yes, its all fun and games, 'til somebody takes out an eye. Even so, in a world where there are far too many restrictions, whether on personal liberties or good, old-fashioned playground sport and Spirit Day antics, we think that more parents should lighten up, taking a time-out from their picayune posturing, and school administrators, Long Beach HS principal Nicholas Restivo included, should take a couple of steps back, and chill.
- - -
Captain Underpants costume foils students school fun

Newsday Staff Writer

This sounds like a job for Captain Underpants!

If the captain's creator, author Dav Pilkey, were to write the story of the conflict Wednesday at Long Beach High School, it might open like this: The evil school principal went insane with horror when he saw three girls strolling brazenly through hallways looking like caped crusaders. Naked caped crusaders.

But in reality, principal Nicholas Restivo is simply an administrator who, on Superhero Day, had a problem with the way the three seniors were dressed. He issued them an ultimatum: Change clothes, cover up or leave school.

At the root of the clash was Captain Underpants, chubby superhero star of popular children's books in which he battles talking toilets and foes such as Professor Poopypants.

Chelsea Horowitz, Ashley Imhof and Eliana Levin, all 17, arrived at school Wednesday as the captain: They wore beige leotards and nude stockings under white briefs. Red capes flared from their backs.

Around them, students milled about dressed as Superman, Wonderwoman -- even Quail Man, the nonviolent hero from the cartoon "Doug."

Superhero Day is part of Long Beach High's Senior Week. Monday was Switch Day, where boys dressed like girls and vice versa. Tuesday was Nerd Day. Thursday is Spirit Day, where they wear school colors, blue and white. Friday is Pirate Day. But the Captain Underpants getup didn't meet the approval of principal Restivo. He described the costume as "tight-fitting, flesh-colored leotards and leggings."

"Yes, I know they weren't naked," he said. "But the appearance was that they were naked."

The outfits looked so much like nude skin that they caused a commotion among students, Restivo said. The girls and their parents all said otherwise. "They're not see-through or anything," Horowitz said. "All the teachers thought it was cute."

Restivo said they could have worn gym shorts or called someone to bring clothes to school for them.

The girls said a wardrobe change wasn't an option and they felt forced to leave school -- which they did.

Horowitz, an honor student and softball player, said they didn't want to wear "someone else's hand-me-downs" and their parents weren't available to bring clothes to the school.

Captain Underpants is a pot-bellied character who wears nothing but a toothy grin, red cape and tighty whiteys."

I didn't know which superhero it was, not that it mattered," Restivo said. He pointed out that other students wore underwear on the outside, but on top of pants or shorts. That was acceptable.

Copyright 2006 Newsday Inc.
- - -
"Switch Day?" "Where boys dressed like girls and vice versa?" Not that there's anything wrong with that!

No comments:

Post a Comment