The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School


The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School


The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School


Superintendent Announces Eldritch Safety Measures


At a Friday meeting, ACPS Superintendent Melon Cee-Howatt announced a revised plan for ensuring student safety and security at Alexandria City High School’s King St. Campus that some are calling “unconventional” and “deeply disturbing.” At the end of last year, ACPS mobilized its plan to implement metal detectors throughout secondary schools. The decision has sparked controversy, with concerns about militarization and the school-to-prison pipeline. Now, the safety team at ACPS has envisioned a new model to ensure complete security while maintaining good feelings.

 Cee-Howatt chose to demonstrate the new technology herself as a way of forging relatability and empathy with the student population. To enter the school, students will be required to first remove all items from their backpack individually while wearing silk gloves. The items will then be placed on a silver platter, dusted with a peacock feather and then held to the sky for exactly seven seconds by a security guard while the student speedily recites the last stanza of “For That He Looked Not Upon Her” by George Gascoigne.

If the student fails to finish the stanza within seven seconds, one item will be removed from their possession before they are allowed on to the next portion of the procedure. If the student succeeds, they proceed to solve a daily riddle that, upon being answered correctly, will grant them entry to the eye-scanners that unlock the steel doors to the metal detectors.

Students will still be expected to remove Chromebooks, three-ring binders and eyeglass cases before going through the technology.

“The riddles are a great way to get students thinking before they start their day. They force our best and brightest to be up and at them,” said school board member Aimee Serendipitous-Bronne.“Whichever student feels up to the test may take three steps through the doors and listen to the riddle recited by Mr. Oak. They will then squeeze their eyes closed and proclaim the answer. If the student is correct, the lights will go on, and they will be permitted to proceed through a narrow corridor to the eye-scanners.”

This procedure comes after a series of moves to enhance safety and security. Apparently, central office personnel were inspired by ACHS’ idea to restrict Minga passes to the bathroom for students with poor attendance. 

Although some attendees of the meeting were against the move, calling it “esoteric” or “cultist,” others thoroughly maintain that this system will prevent bad actors from even making an attempt to enter the school. Students at the meeting had mixed reactions. 

“Look, I’m almost out of here,” said senior Leddibe Ouver. “It was one thing to scan IDs, and then there was Minga, and then there were metal detectors. Now there’s a prophetic ritual activated only by answering the bizarre question of a menacing foe. It’s the natural progression of things. I’m just glad that I’m about to be done with it.”

Some at the meeting were concerned about the technical aspects behind the security measures. One parent asked about how a new riddle could feasibly be generated for each of the 180 days of the school year. Another asked if the gloves would be regularly cleaned to ensure health and safety compliance. One, Daniel Snyder, expressed his frustration with what the system meant for the direction of the school.

“I can’t do this anymore,” Snyder said, wiping a measly tear from his left eye. “I don’t believe in private school. I could take the metal detectors. I could take the Minga passes. I could take the locked bathrooms. But riddles? What sort of Rumpelstiltskin reality is this? What’s next? Is my son going to have to brush his long locks of glowing, blond hair from the B300s, awaiting a brilliant, handsome knight? Will he be forced to try on a pearlescent, enchanted glass slipper after disappearing before the start of D Lunch?”

“We are proud of this innovation and excited for what it can do for the school,” said Cee-Howatt. Snyder was escorted from the building sobbing.

“I mean, whatever. Whatever.” said Physics teacher Fae Boudet-Diagram. “Why not, right? At least the gloves are silk. Personally, I don’t have pencils left in my classroom, but I’m glad that’s where the budget is going.”

English teacher Poe Detry said he was “excited” about the inclusion of Gascoigne’s poetry. Detry submitted the idea in the suggestion box hidden in the storage closet every other Tuesday from 1-1:30 P.M. last year.

“I really didn’t think my suggestion would get through! I mean, I don’t know how to feel about the abject horror surging through students’ hearts at the implication that their community is so unsafe that we need to start using eldritch procedures to enter the building, but, you win some, you lose some.”

Some say that the move represents an increasing dissonance between ACPS and their students. 

“I’m always going to be in favor of whatever keeps students safe, but, man, what if the riddle is super hard that day?” said calculus teacher Sinte Gral. “I teach differential calculus first period. It’s not an easy class. Students need to be on time to succeed in learning.”

Rhys Snyder, 14, said he was “excited” about the silk gloves. “Oh boy, that’s fancy,” he said with an eager grin pasted on his face. 

The school board has not responded to these criticisms, but ACHS clarified that, yes, students will be required to redo the ritual if they dare leave the building to eat their lunch outside of Quiet Dining.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Theogony

Your donation will support the student journalists of Alexandria City High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Theogony

Comments (0)

All Theogony Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *