Nick Dodds wins right to protest with a black arm band

Hey guys! It’s me again — Nick Dodds. It’s been quite a while since I wrote you, but I got yet another story from the Canadian front lines. . .

Ok. Some background first. I’m now 13, and I go to Aurora Senior Public School in Ontario Canada. I was moved here along with several other classes atg my school and other schools by the York Region Board of Education. It was mainly a tactic to make it look like they were doing something to improve education. The entire process ended up being a mess, there was a big cover up, and a whole lot of shit got flung. But I’m not writing about that. I arrived at my school, along with my class, and things got started up. It was going pretty good until we found out that our teacher Ms. Poulidis really likes to tell us that we’re worthless (in a subtle way though — not that it justifies it). But anyway, things wwere going okay. One day, we had a supply teacher. about ten minutes before the bell, she told us to pack up our stuff, and wait around until the bell rang. So, people were just standing around doing nothing. Over the summer, I had made up some posters that said “Independant thought is a weapon, And like all other weapons, you’ll be expelled for using it.” I had about sixty copies in my locker, so I got them and gave them out before the bell rang.

The next day, I was called down to the office. The principal and vice-principal acted like a relay team, when one would run out of things to say, the other would step in. They told me that I couldn’t hand out the posters, because of board policy, and because it wasn’t true. (On a related note, later, I found out that it is in fact board policy to allow only approved material to be distributed on school property.) I went out of the office with a bad temper, and a taste for retaliation.

Two days later, I showed up sporting a black armband, and carrying ten others. I gave alot of them out to my classmates who were willing to support my cause. When I went into class and started work, my teacher Ms. Poulidis called me over to her desk, and asked my why I was wearing an armband. I told her it was a silent protest against how the school treated independant thought. She was shocked. I guess she had never had one of her sheep — er — students stand up for his rights before. She told me to take it off three time, to wich I replied “no,” and then walked away. Later on, I was called down to the office. Then all hell broke loose. I got in there, and they started asking me questions and telling me to take the armband off. I told them it was my right to freely express myself, and they couldn’t stop me. They told me that armbands are gang symbols. BULLSHIT!!! I could just as easylly say that schools are prisions that churn out psychotics that are hell bent on killing the principal! And I would have been 90% right if I had! After they told me that armbands were gang symbols, I crossed my arms, and asked them “Have you ever actually HAD a gang at this school?” The vice-principal said “Well . . . no,. . . but we have had tagging.” Now usually when someone comes along with a spray paint can, and tags up a building, it’s usually to the extent of “limbizkit rocks!” “FUCK YOU” or “School sucks!” That’s about it. Thje fact is — there are NO gangs in Aurora.

But back to the real subject. . . They started to fight dirty. They asked me how I was doing in school, if I was getting my work done in class, that sort of thing. Now, I am not a good worker in a public environment. I prefer to work in my room, in a relaxing environment, where I don’t have people screaming, or an overseer — er — teacher looking over my shoulder. School to me is just hell with flourescent lights. So anyway, I told them to get back at the topic at hand. They told me how they were sorry for me, because I disliked school and my views would never change. They said how I was fighting a losing battle, and how one person can’t make a difference (**cough! Cough! BULSHIT! Cough! Cough!**). I told them “What about Mohatma Ghandi? What About Martin Luthor king Junior? They made a difference!” They promptly told me that they were fighting against BAD things. They whined about how thye needed to follow proceedures and ploicies. Then I saw the vehicle of their destruction. On the shelf, there was a copy of the york region school board policies and proceedures handbook. I asked them to see it, and they reluctantly gave it to me. I showed them the part that said that the school had to adhere to the canadian charter of rights and freedoms. They were mortally wounded.

Knowing this, they said “ok, you can wear your armband. What are the names of the people you gave armbands to?”

“why?

“We don’t have to tell you that.”

“why??”

“well. . . we just want to talk to them.”

Not knowing my right to silence, I told them the names, and was dismissed. my associates were picked off one by one.

But it doesn’t stop there.

I started my own press company called “The Subterranean Free Press.” So far, I’ve put out three issues, and the fourth is in the works. You can visit my website at http://www.geocities.com/thesubterraneancity/

The website has a lot of cool stuff, like the free thought poster campaign, and back issues. You can also E-mail me at the_subterranean%40hotmail.com. Anyway, always fight for your rights

Vive La Resistance!