School Guide

School Security

"A's" the E-Z Way

Surviving the Shoot-Out

Let's Choose a Mascot

School Uniforms: Where "Style" Meets "Safety"

Drop and Give Me 20 Ways to Get Involved in Sports

A "Sexy" Student is a Happy Student

"Don't You Do It!"

Senior Popularity: Your Last Chance

Back to School Guide for the Gays

Banned Books: It's a Good Idea

Dear Pupils,

Goodness, it's been a fun summer! However, it's time to put away those saggy jeans and crack pipes for another year here at The Stranger Preparatory Academy and Vocational School. And what a "special" year it will be! Though many of you have expressed concern over the personal safety issues which have plagued our institution in the past, I'll bet you each a quarter that you'll find the improvements we've made at our school to be very "groovy" indeed!

Regardless of the recent spate of shootings, gang warfare, and (perhaps most notably) that very unfortunate wood shop incident, your faculty is ready to roll up their sleeves and try their darndest to forget these things ever happened. But you'll be happy to learn that your princi"pal" has been doing a little "homework" of his own during the summer months. I've been meeting with highly paid educational, ministerial, and security consultants to make sure this school year won't turn out like the last. And they were in total agreement about what our cherished institution needs to stop this unhealthy cycle of violence: More School SPIRIT!

But you may be saying to yourself, "I must be wrong to question the wisdom of Principal Humphrey, but how can 'school spirit' prevent my receiving an ass-whuppin' or gun-related trauma?" GOOD QUESTION! But first, let's define "SPIRIT," shall we? Webster defines "spirit" as (1) soul, (2) ghost, (3) loyalty, or (4) alcoholic liquor—that's all true; but I think Mr. Webster left a few words out. "Spirit" can also mean "pep rallies," "homecoming floats," or "freshman hazing." Anything that engenders a sense of "belonging." And in case you were wondering… you belong here at The Stranger Preparatory Academy and Vocational School. As long as your parents can afford the tuition, YOU are family (even if you are a foreign student).

Students who "belong" feel good about their school and have SPIRIT. Ergo (by the way, "ergo" is French for "and in addition"), students who have "spirit" are half as likely to succumb to violent and potentially deadly rampages which subject the school to lawsuits and negative press from the liberally biased media. But you may be saying to yourself, "Hmmm. Principal Humphrey is a fair, just man whose words bespeak a wisdom that all students should heed—but I hate my school! How am I to acquire the necessary 'spirit'?" GOOD QUESTION!

Our faculty is committed and contractually obligated to furnish you with the tools needed to put you on the happy road to school "spirit." Every student will be highly encouraged to "belong" and become involved with school activities. For example, there's the new "Oh, Cheer Up! Club," in which cheerfully obedient students hang posters emblazoned with positive messages which remind their classmates that everyone "belongs." For example, they might read, "We Don't Put Up with Put-Downs!" or "Four-Eyed Geeks Are People, Too!" or "Hug a Cripple!"—things like that. We will also be instituting fun new activities such as "Acne Medication Fridays," in which students blessed with clear skin bring in creams and salves for those less fortunate (NOTE: These medications MUST be in unopened, un-tampered-with containers!).

But students aren't the only ones getting into the "SPIRIT" of things. Many of our most dedicated faculty members have generously agreed (in accordance with the terms decided at the end of last year's teachers' strike) to submit their own warm words of encouragement and advice in our Stranger Prep & Voc Spirit Manual. You'll hear from our very popular wrestling instructor, Coach Wright, on the many ways even the scrawny geek can get involved in sports (pg. 13). You'll also be interested in some advice from "Mrs. Problems," our very own counselor who really, really cares (pg. 19). Are you one of the gays? Then you definitely should heed the warnings of our ROTC instructor to "stay in the closet" (pg. 24). Plus there's plenty of school survival tips, lists of this year's banned books, and a helpful map to assist you in navigating the $2 million worth of new security devices we've installed to protect you at school—and protect the school from YOU! Ha, ha. Just kidding.

But seriously: Our school has been ranked by Nervous Parents magazine as third in the nation for "most dangerous place to receive a diploma." My question to each and every one of you is, why should we settle for number 3, when we could be number 4, or even 5? You see, I have a dream: that one day, all of my students—black kids and white kids, Jews and Gentiles, goths and geeks, handsome rambunctious football players and firm, tight-sweatered cheerleaders who smell like angels—can join hands and sing the words of that old schoolyard taunt: "We've got spirit, yes we do. We've got spirit, how 'bout YOU?!?"

It's decided, then. This year we'll have SPIRIT. We'll have it, or die trying. (Metaphorically speaking of course.)

We've Got Spirit!