More Than Ever Before.
By thamike.com
Yearbook Reflects Social Divide Accurately

FORT NEEDY, OH - High school seniors at Fort Needy's Warren G. Harding High School tend to be divided on most issues, but they can all agree that the school's new yearbook accurately reflects the divisions of their groups.

"It's amazing how spot-on all these groups are represented," Tyler Burndidge, 17, said Monday. "I had a look at the planned yearbook (to be released at the end of the spring semester next year) and could easily identify the nerds, popular kids, and outcasts simply by thumbing through the group photos."

Yearbook editor Tina "Tight-T" Norton, 18, says the decision to document the many subcultures in the school was her own. "For too long now, the popular kids have been forced to share a page with the rejects and spazzes," she said in a written statement, "but this year will be different. We'll call a spaz a spaz, a jock a jock, and leave the one or two Hispanics in school at the end."

A Picture Says A Thousand Words,
In This Case, They Are Dead On.

Racially, Fort Needy is one of the most diverse cities in mid-west southern Ohio, with an average of 74% Caucasian, 23% African-American, and a new foreign exchange student from Paraguay. The groups that have formed in Harding High are not based along solely racial lines, however.

"Sure, we have our share of white people," said Tyrone Bryant, 18, the captain of the football team, basketball team, baseball team, and co-captain of the chess team, of his "jocks" subculture, "but mostly it's just us brothas and the white cheerleaders at our table in the lunchroom. One time a nerd tried to take my boy Orenthal's seat, we pantsed the motherfucka in the guys' bathroom."

Overall, the proposed yearbook is divided into the various social stratas that populate the school. The popular kids get the biggest pictures and the most pages, the jocks are second, then the nerds, spazzes, and dweebs make up the remainder of the tome.

"We're thrilled that we get pages 74 and 75," nerd spokesman and chess club co-captain Brian Wingo told me. "For so long, we've yearned to break the page-100 barrier. I was hoping for something more modest, like page 99 or maybe a half of page 98, but this is just too much."

The activities sections are together with each class (the popular kids have the 'popular' groups, the jocks have the sports teams, and the nerds and spazzes battle over the academic team, the chess club, and the model-building team), and there is even mention of the lowest-ranking social group (students who identify themselves as "rednecks", a crude derivitation of the Southern stereotype involving trucks, gun racks and membership in 'Future Farmers of America').

Prinicipal David Franks, who oversaw the yearbook's more relevant turn this year, is pleased with the results. "For years, we couldn't tell which students might be potential threats," he said, in reference to the all-new "Trouble-makers" section (which includes broody Cure fans and sensitive poetry-writing girls, as well as "A" students in history, Shop, or Driver's Ed.). "Now, we've got them all in a handy little section. Easier to keep tabs."

The new yearbook isn't scheduled to come out until the close of the spring semester, but already it has several more pre-orders than the previous year's "Aladdin"-themed monstrosity. And the book is even available outside of Fort Needy: as of this writing, it's number one in pre-orders for Amazon.com's special "yearbook" section.

Will the following year's yearbook be as well-done and worthy of praise? Incoming junior editor Felicia Moorman (who will oversee her senior class's attempt) is eager for the task ahead.

"With the influx of Mexican-Americans thanks to the new factory over in Hayes Landing, we'll have to be on the ball about including them, especially if they infiltrate one or more of the social classes". (The smart money, insiders say, is on the jock class, because "many recent immigrants excel at running and jumping over barb-wire fences," Coach Ed Lyman said).

Moorman continued, "I really think the yearbook this year will certainly raise the standard for identifying who fit in where, but they've done the hard work of figuring that out. Now all we have to do is follow their example. I can already tell you the nerds will be more prevalent, though, meaning a possible move up to page 73. But there's plenty of time for them to hit puberty before that happens."

In the cut-throat world of yearbook publishing, Harding High's "Fighting Buttermilk Cows" may have set a new bar, but it's only a matter of time before other schools surpass it.

Written & Submitted by
Trev Danger -
On The High School Beat

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