I’m writing this letter today to object to the proposed legislation, the so-called Fairness in Education for the Parasitically Infected Act, which would force schools to accommodate all manner of parasitically infected student, including those whose insides are not just 10, not just 20, but up to 40% spider eggs.
These students have my sympathy, but as the parent of a student who does not have even a single spider egg inside them, I believe safety has to come first. The fact is, as the wording of the bill is remarkably upfront about, these spider eggs could hatch any minute. It could be next month, or tomorrow, or 2 p.m. today, or 2:01 p.m. today. And what happens if they hatch during school hours? If history is any guide, chaos. Thousands upon thousands of spiders will pour from the flesh and most convenient orifices of the infected, a panic will ensue, and instead of asking, “When was the Magna Carta signed?” students will be asking, “Hey, teach, what do we do about all these spiders?” And no one will learn anything.
This is no hypothetical. Last year in Bend, Oregon, a “Hatchening,” as the kids have taken to calling it, occurred during a trigonometry class. The student, who had slipped through the usual screening processes and was not a known carrier, reportedly “exploded like a sack full of fireworks but the fireworks were spiders oh god it was horrible why.” Before the building could be evacuated and eventually firebombed, two dozen students were bitten, several became possible carriers after orally intercepting the airborne ovipositors, and one teacher died falling down the stairs, moments after shoving her slower, short-legged students out of the way. If the bill passes, this sort of incident will become routine.
It would be especially unfair to less affluent students. While the Anti-Spider Combat Gear sector is currently the pride of U.S. industry, reinvigorating our manufacturing base, the fact remains that the equipment is not cheap. Fast-acting poison aerosols, floating-sac mouth filters, chelicerae-resistant neoprene bodysuits—these things may be common in the private schools of Nantucket, but here in Trenton our weapons are more typically brooms and screaming. The One Child, One Flamethrower Foundation is doing noble work, but their efforts have not led to a universally armed youth population. To pass this act before first subsidizing arachnoid defense is to abandon our inner cities to the spiders.
I urge my fellow parents to rally against this bill so that we can turn our attention to legislation that seeks equality without sacrificing safety, like the proposed Fairness for Students Whose Faces Are Not Faces At All But a Roiling Mass of Worms Act.
Roger Taylor writes short-form humor, long-form journalism, and screenplays. His work has appeared on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Morning News, The Escapist, and several mimeographed Golden Girls fanzines. Follow him on Twitter.
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