By CRAIG MILLAR SEP. 22, 2014
RALEIGH, NC — In an emergency September re-convening last Friday, Representatives sided with Senators today as the NC Legislature pledged aid to moderate high school rebels at Needham B. Broughton High School. The move is seen as a way to blunt the “toughiefication” now spreading in over 80% of the halls at Broughton.
“If we don’t act now, there will be no end to the sea of popped collars, fabulous hair, and Vineyard Vines,” said Rep. Yvonne Holley (D., Wake) on the floor of the Legislature. “We. Need. Diversity,” she shouted, banging a copy of The Catcher in the Rye on the microphone.
Gov. McCrory is expected to sign the bill this week, which authorizes limited material support for milder punks, quasi-goths, and occasional skateboarders. Its language specifically prohibits aid to “complete jackasses, Mohawks, or guys wearing dresses.”
“This bill ensures the moderate rebels will have a voice at Broughton, without turning the place into a complete zoo,” said Sen. Josh Stein (D., Wake). He voted a cautious yea, joining most of the Democrats in the Senate. “This comes with strings attached,” he said. “If we see funds being siphoned to whatever remains of the Algebra Club for coke parties, it’s game over.”
In a rare moment of bipartisan harmony, Rep. Brig. Gen. Gary Pendleton, CLU, ChFC (R., Wake) and Rep. Lt. Col. Grier Martin, Esq. (D., Wake) voted no. “I’m really having a hard time seeing what’s wrong with all the kids just being who they are, which may happen to be exactly the way everyone else is,” said Pendleton.
“Harmony is paramount in high school,” said Martin, who came at his “no” decision in a different way. “If you support the moderates, then next thing you know the utter tools will come hat-in-hand and then you’ll have the sportos, the motorheads, band geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies, d**kheads…when does it end? It’s a question of fairness.”
Rep. Marilyn Avila (R., Wake) was quick to point out that this was only a pilot program, and the funds could be pulled at any time. Avila, who voted yea, believes there is real danger in allowing events to continue to unfold unchecked. “A famous man once said, ‘The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom,’ and this enlarges the freedom of the persecuted minority at Broughton to an appreciable degree,” she said in comments on the House floor. If the pilot program proves successful, said Avila, it could be expanded to other, lesser schools in North Carolina.
To that point, several representatives complained that Broughton seemed to get more than its share of attention in the current legislation, when other schools are experiencing the same problems. “Are we prepared to be the world’s fashion police?” asked Rep. Skip Stam (R., Wake). “I want to remind all of you, Apex [High] is just as important as Broughton,” he said, eliciting an immediate chorus of laughter from the rest of the Wake delegation.
With all the good intentions, however, it may be too late to stop the spread of toughiefication. “I haven’t been called ‘Babs’ or ‘von Biberstein’ for years,” sighed Babs Nichols, a revered English teacher at Broughton. “The milder rebels loved calling me that. Now it’s ‘Mrs. Nichols’ this and ‘Mrs. Nichols’ that. These kids are very pretty and very respectful to a fault. It’s annoying.”