Note from the Principal: This Fall Your Classroom Will be Equipped with a Lion

Dear Garfield Middle School Teachers,

As we prepare for the start of our school year, I wanted to alert you to a recent addition to your classroom learning environment. As per the order of the State Department of Education, each classroom will now be equipped with a lion.

The following information is designed to help you achieve your learning targets as you manage your lion. Please note: Due to the fact that we have never had lions in our classrooms and we’re figuring this out as we go, these recommendations could change at any moment.

lion in classroom
There will be a lion in your classroom this fall.

1. Your lion will not be contained; s/he will be free to roam around your room. Please instruct your students to stay 6 feet away from the lion at all times.

2. The lion could lick or just scratch a student. It’s also possible they could flat out devour one. Or you. Another reason to stay 6 feet away from the lion.

3.The lions will also be free to roam the halls, bathrooms, front office, gym, cafeteria, nurses office, teachers lounge, etc. Try not to bump into them as you pass, it could get ugly.

4. Some people at the Department of Education and Cynthia (frequent poster to the school FB page but not a parent), say a lion is not super dangerous, more like a cat. Still, we recommend you don’t try to pet one.

5. We must confess, we don’t know a lot about the lions’ training or behavior history. The vice-president of the school committee got a deal from a Latvian Circus recently shut down by PETA. They came with some sort of paperwork, but none of us read Latvian. It’s possible the lions only respond to commands given in their native language, I guess we’ll find out.

6. Lions have an acute sense of smell which could trigger aggressive behavior, therefore all students will be slathered in hyena guts (least favorite lion food – thanks, Mr. Sullivan for that tidbit!) upon entering the classroom in order to prevent an attack. Frequent re-application may be required.

7. Ms. Porter at the Central Office said she’s “never seen anyone get eaten by a lion so they probably don’t do that.” Mr. Scott believes lions prefer to eat adults over children, but we haven’t seen the hard data on that one. We are doing our best to manage the conflicting opinions on lion behavior.

8. We don’t currently know how long we’re going to keep the lions in your classrooms, we estimate they will be with you until someone is either eaten or our Donor’s Choose campaign to buy cages is fully funded. The Dept. of Ed has not given us a dead/wounded minimum that would activate the removal of the lions. Could be a week, could be…well, most of us are betting on one week. Associate Principal Peters doesn’t think we’ll make it through the first day and those Donor’s Choose campaigns usually take a few months. Contact Mrs. Lazar in the office if you want to get in on the pool – $5 (cash only).

We are not entirely sure why the Dept. of Ed is putting lions in our classrooms, most of us think it’s a pretty bad idea. We think viewing lions at a distance is wiser, but what do we know? We’re just educators, not zoo keepers.

If you have any questions about the lions, please don’t ask.

Good Luck,

Maria Wilson, Principal

Garfield Middle School

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About Christine Stevens

Christine Stevens teaches, performs and writes in western Massachusetts. Her work has appeared in McSweeney's Internet Tendency, The Satirist and on her website, mary.

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