The administration has recently made a grand discovery: students at CCHS feel stressed. “What is ‘stress’?” you may ask. Apparently, it is the emotion that one feels when one is assigned four hours of homework, plays three sports and two instruments, and is in seven clubs. After several group sessions of mindfulness, required meditation for four hours every morning, and two changes in policies so that each teacher can only assign five minutes of homework every other week and can only assign tests every other full moon, but never on the same full moon as another teacher, student stress level is at an all-time high. Any teacher who breaks these policies is banished to the black-box theater with those delinquents who bring food to the third floor and those who sneak into the school late at night to punch holes in the walls of the locker rooms. Many people in the community have raised complaints about these changes. The student on the All-State werewolf team are constantly in conflict with the testing schedule, students have managed to drag out their 5-minute assignments to three week projects through the use of cell phone and Facebook, and a large percentage of the class has fallen into comatose states due to prolonged meditation. However, don’t give up hope. There is an answer.
The school has finally found a solution: each student must have a puppy. Don’t worry; this was piloted with one 7th grade English class two years ago in Sanborn. Groundbreaking research has revealed that pets can reduce stress so students can either bring their own, borrow a puppy from the school’s kennel, lease a puppy, or buy a brand-new one. Now, unless a student already has their own puppy – and even if they do – it is strongly advised that the dog used is purebred, and either a labrador, golden retriever, or, in select cases, a Newfoundland. The school has conducted several studies and concluded that the aforementioned dogs are the most efficient at leveling student stress. Some parents have already approached the administration and made the case for small dogs. They claim that their compact size will both improve the class environment and place less stress on families, but that’s ridiculous.
One must remind students that these puppies are only to be used for educational purposes and stress relief. Ball throwing, petting, and any sort of puppy talk is forbidden in classrooms, but teachers are encouraged to incorporate the dogs into lesson plans. Studies have shown that if teachers tie the homework to each dog’s tail, students will feel less stressed at the amount of work they have to complete, and students have been shown to pay more attention to presentations and lectures when said lectures are given by dogs.
There are some rules, though. If one is borrowing a dog, one should only teach the dog school-approved tricks, the dogs should only wear provided collars, and the dog should only be called pre-approved names. At the end of each year any student borrowing a dog must return it to the newly created committee, Collective Answers To Stress, or C.A.T.S. If a student loses the provided leash they must forfeit 10 community service hours to acquire a new one, or they will not graduate. All of those are small concessions to make; there are compromises in every new proposal.
I am incredibly excited about this new venture. It will revolutionize the school experience, and place Concord Carlisle as the leader in school innovation. There is not a single downside. Student who are allergic will get over it, and fears are for the weak. With this new program, 2018 is guaranteed to be filled with all fun and zero stress.