Lake Elsinore News #37.6
by Eric D. Snider
Published in The Lake Elsinore News on December 31, 1969
Some of you may have read about the recent controversy surrounding the April Fool's issue of The Tiger Times, which is the student newspaper at Elsinore High School, a school that used to be a lot of fun but isn't anymore for the simple fact that we can't get away with anything anymore. We have to start learning.
I happen to be the copy editor for that fine publication, so for this particular column, I know what I'm talking about. Things were up in the air for a while as to whether we would be allowed to put out another issue, or if they were going to solve the problem by just expelling us all and firing the adviser and trashing the computers and setting fire to the publishers' office. They finally found a new adviser and told all of us, "Naughty, naughty" and we were then free to put out a couple more issues, but only under the following restrictions:
That last one caused a problem because we had already conducted a survey of a large number of EHS students to see what they thought of that issue. Since we couldn't print the results in The Tiger Times, here they are in my column. I am not making any of these results up.
Of the 179 polls returned:
Some of the comments the students wrote were rather amusing. One person wrote, "I thought it was the stupidest paper I ever read." We really did not take that one too seriously, since he or she misspelled the word "stupidest." Four people said they didn't read it, several said they didn't care, and two people (we're guessing they were freshman males, passing time while waiting for their voices to change) said it wasn't obscene enough. We intend to alleviate that problem next year.
There were many more interesting comments, ranging from the obscene to the merely illiterate, but I think you get the picture.
And there you have it. The results of our poll. I think we can conclude from this that:
1. The students of Elsinore High School generally liked the April Fool's issue.
2. Some of them should be in counseling and English class a little more often.
Speaking of the school newspaper, I was going through my old tape recordings a few weeks ago when I came across a hot news story that for some reason was never published. It involved the altering of the large marquee in front of Elsinore High School -- the one that heralds the coming of such noteworthy school functions as "Cafeteria Workers Appreciation Week" (celebrated by having everyone buy a burrito from them whilst stifling the urge to say, "Eewwwwwww!").
Apparently, according to my notes, someone got a hold of some of the letters used to put messages on the marquee, snuck into the school with a ladder about 5:00 one morning (he was seen by a custodian who thought he was supposed to be there), and changed the marquee to read:
"WELCOME TO TIGER TOWN!
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH"
Principal Dennis Price was absolutely livid, and the message was removed before second period. He was threatening suspension and a stiff fine for the scoundrel, who was never caught. Price made it sound like whoever it was must have been a juvenile delinquent on the brink of first-degree manslaughter, but I seriously doubt that any delinquent at Elsinore High School -- and believe me, there are many -- would have the literary background to take a quote from Orwell's "1984" and place it so brazenly on the school marquee. I think one of the English teachers did it.
Copyright © Eric D. Snider.
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