Students Not Smiling At School Will Be Punished

Students who don't have a smile on their face while in the hallways between classes are told to either smile or go see a guidance counselor to discuss their problems.

Even though smiling in the hallways is not a written rule at the school district, it is something that Assistant High School Principal Benjamin Wenger has taken upon himself to enforce, according to several teachers. The teachers who spoke to Lebanon Daily News asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation from the school district.

While Wenger -- who has been accused of throwing around a sex toy in the office during school hours (along with High School Principal Jennifer Hassler and Middle School Principal Brad Reist) -- may care about whether or not students are smiling between classes, parents and teachers have bigger concerns. Both say Wenger and his fellow administrators don't care enough about the bullying and harassment taking place in the school district. Teachers are aware that a child without a smile in the hall can be sent to the guidance counselor.

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15 Responses:

  1. Sheila Marie says:

    "Just relax and let the hooks do their work." https://frinkiac.com/img/S06E06/728961.jpg frinkiac.com frinkiac.com

  2. HAPPINESS IS MANDATORY. FAILURE TO BE HAPPY IS TREASON. TREASON IS PUNISHED BY SUMMARY EXECUTION.

  3. Nia Psaka says:

    Today I learnt that there is not only a Lebanon in Pennsylvania, but a Palmyra.

    • deater says:

      You'll never guess how they pronounce "Lebanon" either.

      They make some good bologna. Though it's best not to look into how it's made.

  4. @ndy says:

    https://mcsbrent.co.uk/ is known in the UK for it's bizarrely draconian policies, including silence in corridors and mandatory walking on a particular side. I once read a blog post by one of their teachers where he was boasting of his pupils smiles and "great eye contact".

    https://mcsbrent.co.uk/policies/ especially https://mcsbrent.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Behaviour-201718.pdf :

    "All Year 7 pupils are explicitly taught, and deliberately practice our silence, entrance, exit and toilet routines and rules in their first week at Michaela."

    "1. A demerit is given as a corrective reminder if a pupil makes a bad choice, breaks a school rule, or for:
    ...
    2. Misbehaving in corridors (running, wrong side, chatting)"

    • Paul Fisher says:

      This is a Thing™ at some charter schools in the States, which I guess has also made its way over to Knife Crime Island. The day-in-the-life of a student at a charter school in Fall River (MA) is in turns creepy and horrifying. And apart from a snipe at the dystopian overtone towards the end, the author isn’t even editorializing—she is merely directly quoting the source material: the school’s application for a charter from our board of ed.

      “Good morning, Class of 2026!” “We are Argosy Collegiate Scholars. We have the knowledge to go to college. We share our knowledge with others because explaining what we know and justifying our thinking prepares us to transform ourselves, our communities, and the 21st century.” Carolina and the rest of the students and staff repeat the chant in unison. Scholars chant a short burst of encouragement about Responsibility, and scholars immediately return to silence. […]

      Lunch transition like all other transitions are silent for scholars, and staff and teachers communicate with warm and supportive non-verbal hand signals (which are reviewed during Student Orientation) or whispers when necessary. Until all scholars have their lunches at their pre-assigned seats by homeroom, scholars are silent for the first five minutes so they can focus on eating their meals. After 5 minutes, Ms. Pavao says, “Good afternoon, Argosy Collegiate Scholars. Because of the Excellence you have demonstrated in your behavior with our lunch period, you have earned Level 2 Talk (Scholars know this means they can socialize using restaurant voices).

  5. Martin says:

    When I moved to the US, my view of public schools was initially heavily colored by season 4 of The Wire so I checked out some private schools for my 7 year old.

    One of them gave me an experience I'll never forget.

    I did a one-on-one tour with a guide, and at one point we entered a classroom of first graders already in progress. The teacher in the classroom didn't notice us, but some of the kids did and they immediately stood up, moved their chairs under their desks and waited. The others followed suit until everyone was neatly stood behind their desks. Once the teacher turned around and nodded, the whole class began to recite in unison a speech along the lines of:

    "Welcome to our classroom. This is where we learn. We love attending Challenger School and are proud of our work. We are self-reliant and productive".

    I can't remember the exact words, but I do remember it went on for at least 30 seconds, and would have taken some major classroom time to memorize. These were 7 year olds, and everyone was looking at me to be impressed rather than horrified.

    At the end of the speech, everyone pulled their chairs out, sat down and returned to work as if I didn't exist.

    It wasn't the creepiest part of the visit though.

    That was when I met the principal, went into her office and talked to her whilst staring at the complete collection of Ayn Rand books on her bookshelf.

    To ram it home, I was given a questionnaire to determine whether I was suitable to be a Challenger School parent. I think I still have it somewhere. One of the questions was:

    "Your child forgets to bring their lunch with them to school. Should he (a) ask other children to share their lunch with him or (b) go hungry as a lesson in self-reliance?".

    Sometimes you find that a Simpsons episode is not a work of fantasy.

  6. MattF says:

    I don't recall ever smiling deliberately while I was in school. Is that so unusual?

  7. Howard says:

    From Wikipedia:

    Smile mask syndrome [...] is a psychological disorder proposed by professor Makoto Natsume of Osaka Shoin Women's University, in which subjects develop depression and physical illness as a result of prolonged, unnatural smiling.

    According to Natsume, this atmosphere sometimes causes women to smile unnaturally for so long that they start to suppress their real emotions and become depressed.
    [...]
    Smile mask syndrome can cause physical problems as well as mental ones. Natsume relates that many of his patients developed muscle aches and headaches as a result of prolonged smiling, and says that these are similar to the symptoms of repetitive strain injury.

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