Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Teacher (10/26/06)
TITLE: Finishing Our Steps
By william price
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The drama teacher from Dilbert Memorial High School stood before the five-member Rocky County School Board as they were reading the letter he had just distributed.
To Whom It May Concern,
I believe our School District needs to offer firearms classes.
If a 9mm handgun shoots its bullet at 1,350 feet per second, then any step I begin to take in my school has the potential to be finished in Heaven, if the shooter is a good shot.
Now, don’t get me wrong, starting a step here on a waxed school hallway, and finishing it on streets of gold would be cool, especially if I was on my way to Geometry. But, and this is my point, if the shooter wasn’t a good shot, I could just be wounded and never get to finish that step if the bullet paralyzed me. That would not be cool. You see, I fear never being able to finish that step.
So, if our school is not going to make it more difficult for my fellow students to carry guns, then I’m in favor of offering a firing range class, so potential ‘wackos’, who might want to shoot me, would have the chance to do so more accurately. This would allow us students to at least be able to finish our last steps.
Now, if you are thinking this writer is weird, you’d better stop and think again, because maybe, just maybe, this letter is a creative way to say, “There are guns in our school. Get them out!”
A Ninth Grader who would like to finish his steps.
One-by-one the school board members finished reading. They exchanged quick glances, rolled their eyes and drummed their fingers.
The school board chairman, Mr. Marlin, was the first to respond.
“Okay, Mr. Wolfe, you got us to read a letter by an anonymous student, making unsubstantiated claims about something that has never happened here. Also, this writer did manage to get religion mentioned in a place where it shouldn’t. So, what is your point?”
The teacher stood speechless and dumbfounded. He tried to say two or three things, but nothing would come out of his mouth.
Another school board member decided to speak.
“Mr. Wolfe, aren’t you also the teacher-advisor for the Prayer Breakfast Club at the High School?”
The teacher nodded yes.
“Doesn’t this request fly in the face of your religious political stance? Aren’t you right-wingers supposed to be fighting for gun rights?”
The teacher took a big breath, but couldn‘t utter a word. He just slowly exhaled.
Yet another school board member added her two cents.
“And, I don’t get this part about how getting killed is better than being paralyzed. Alive is alive in my book.”
Finally the teacher could speak.
“So, I guess the firing range is out of the question then?”
“Without a doubt,” the chairman responded.
“That about does it then,” the teacher managed to say. “I would like to point out our high school sits on about a quarter mile of property along Main Street.”
“Meaning,” the chairman added with a sigh?
“Meaning, a quarter mile is about 440 yards, which is pretty close to 1,350 feet. This just so happens to be how far a 9mm bullet will travel in one second. Meaning, one bullet can travel from one boarder of our school complex to the other in the time in takes to make half-a-step.”
The teacher started to smile as an idea came to him.
“I just want to say, I am going to start writing a play called, “Finishing our Steps”. It’s going to be about students fighting to make their schools safer. I just don’t know if I will be able to find any drama students who would want to play the parts of the school board members. And, oh yes, our little Breakfast Prayer Club has 150 students. And by the time the news media behind me finishes writing and airing their stories on tonight’s meeting, I bet we double in size. That’ll be good news, because we’ll have more students praying for you, or the school board members who replace you. Good night and God bless. I have to go now; Channel 7 wants to interview me outside.”
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