I think someone took the April Fool's joke I published in '04 a bit too seriously. Here's the Article, and below is my April Fool's Post. You decide. I mean...right down to the snark about self-esteem.
Due to a shortfall in the Nebraska state budget, many schools are finding it difficult to comply with the standards set forth in the federal No Child Left Behind act. As a result, districts are compelled to focus on academic test scores so as not to lose the all precious government funding. Subsequently, a number of districts are faced with eliminating elective areas of curriculum such as art and athletics to better allocate funds to subjects such as math and English.
Sensing potential public outrage of the elimination of sports from the Lincoln public Schools, the source of Cornhusker Football’s eventual fan base, the Lincoln School board last night approved a measure designed to provide students with background knowledge of various sports without the cost of actual gym classes. The measure calls for “virtual” education three times a week in which students engage in tabletop versions of basketball, football, and baseball via electronic games. Citing the degree of reality these new games are able to provide, the school board emphasises that the experience will be very much like the playing of an actual game while eliminating the cost of hiring physical education teachers.
“Its so important that these young people learn all the values associated with team sports which they can still do as the games are enabled for two or more players. Imagine no more dodge-ball injuries or exercise induced asthma attacks” school board member Cornelius Thresher Picker stated. “We are providing a safe environment for students to explore a number of different games without fear of being picked last for a team or the psychological damage to a student’s self-esteem that can result from teammates teasing a lack of athletic ability. We are, quite literally, leveling the playing field-to a flat desk that is.”
School board President Susan Carr Baum was equally enthusiastic,
“We couldn’t just eliminate physical education from the curriculum, yet we must comply with the No Child Left Behind Act, by challenging our educators to be more creative we have found a solution that will save the district a small fortune in insurance costs alone. Each year, more than five hundred students district wide go to the school nurse with some sort of PE related injury. Just last month, a student at Lincoln Southeast High School sustained serious injury in a volleyball game when a visually challenged student mistook her head for the ball and attempted to spike it over the net. Obviously, virtual PE eliminates that sort of thing and if we can spare one child the trauma of a concussion then of course, it’s worth it.”
Weather permitting, students will engage in outdoor activities so as to still benefit from the fresh air PE courses provide. Scheduled for later this spring are a Jacks tournament, air hockey and a new addition, Rock-em-sock-em-robots, which Picker says will be “just like boxing, but still in compliance with the district’s anti-violence rules. I mean, c’mon, they’re ROBOTS.”
“We see this as a silver lining really,” said Picker. We’re gonna’ save a bundle without sacrificing all the positive effects of physical education. Sometimes you just don’t see a blessing in disguise.”
The new classes are slated to begin after students return from spring break.
If you are still reading this-Happy April Fools Day.