Thursday, March 11, 2010
The Gift that Changed a Mind.
Cloverdale’s Comprehensive School’s Snowboarding Club presented this park bench made of old snow boards to the school's headmaster during the School Council meeting last month. The gift shocked many in the audience due to the fact that the headmaster banned the Snowboarding Club in November citing liability issues involving a dangerous sport sponsored by the school.
He insisted the ban had nothing to do with his rabid dislike of many of the members of the club. Its a well known fact the Headmaster considers snowboarding an anti social sport enticing young people to rebel against society’s standards in dress and proper grooming.
Last year the Headmaster ordered new dress standards for all students in an attempt to force the snowboarders to get their hair cut and wear their pants at waist level and not around their “backsides”. The snowboarders led a student rebellion against the new policy. They took the new dress code before the school council and argued for their right to express themselves through dress. In a surprising decision the council overturned the headmaster's new standards by a vote of 4 to 3 stating that student dress couldn't be limited unless it was vulgar, revealing or encouraged the use of alcohol, drugs or tobacco. The deciding vote in favor of the students was cast by a council member who happened to own the local ski shop on the Coastal Highway.
The Snowboarding Club was banned shortly after the dress code was overturned. Of course it was the headmaster's way of striking back at the students for their campaign against him.
During the presentation of the bench to the Council, the former Snowboarding Club President Ian Grimes spoke on behalf of the club.
“We’d like to present this gift to the school. It is our way of thanking the council for your support. We made the bench ourselves from our old boards so it means a lot to us. It is a gift from the heart,” he said while holding his right hand over his heart and pausing a moment so the emotion could be emphasized.
The bench was carried into the room by two of the club's honor students. Snickering was heard throughout the hall. Dozens of students attending the meeting broke into loud whistling and applause. The Headmaster’s face turned white at the sight. His wife was overhead whispering “Ghastly,” to the wife of the Assistant Headmaster.
The President of the School Council acknowledged the gift on behalf of the school. The students asked for permission to place it at the front of the school near the general drop off and pick up zone. The Council agreed, ignoring the Headmaster’s obvious head gestures to the negative.
The bench sat near the school's front doors for two weeks then disappeared to the back of the school where it sits today near the maintenance shed. The students moved the bench the day after the headmaster reversed his decision and reinstated the club. In his decision the headmaster wrote that any activity that got students up and moving was worthy of the school's support.
The Club’s strategy paid off. The destruction of several of their older boards was well worth it.