Vernon Elementary School recess was halted abruptly this Tuesday, and is suspended until further notice, after a series of impassioned outbursts and an extensive mud fight between competing popular student groups resulted in two scraped knees, five and a half dead ants, and a swing covered in lime Jello.
Previously, although divided into two main parties, the students of Vernon Elementary generally did not have especially large disciplinary problems. However, over the past year, there has been increased drama inside the self-imposed student groups that eventually escalated from name-calling to melodramatic fights in the mud.
The outbursts in one group began when friends of fifth grade student Bert Saunders got in a fight with friends of third grade student Hailey Clifford over who was a better racer. Spectator Harold Thomas claimed the two groups started exchanging names such as “blonde-bi…mbo” and “four-eyed-old-er-guy.”
Kids soon began “choosing sides” between Bert and Hailey whenever they played recess games, even though they originally played together frequently. Georgia Ezekial explained:
“I mean, at first, Hailey seemed pretty cool, she always had enough extra lunch money to buy us all puddings, but then Bert showed me that he had his own Twitter, and that seemed like something pretty special. I don’t understand why more people don’t pay attention to it. I would definitely risk getting a bloody nose if I were fighting for a guy with his own Twitter.”
Wallace Nguyen, another student involved in the mud fight refused to admit he was at fault after trying to rub mud in Ezekial’s eyes. “They kept saying Hailey had worse cooties than Bert, and then started throwing mud at her, and that didn’t seem very fair,” Nguyen explained, “then they started asking her all these personal questions, so we started throwing mud back at them. I don’t understand why Bert doesn’t get bugged about this stuff. I saw him crying after someone stuck some mud down his shirt, and no one’s talking about that.” Nguyen finished, “All they seem to care about is how Georgia’s jello got knocked out of her hand by a stray mudball, and Hailey lost her shoe in a mud pit by the swings.”
After investigating further accounts of the incident, Vernon administration concluded that the fighting seemed relatively contained to a certain part of the playground. Ezekial explained why they didn’t choose to fight closer to the slides.
“I mean none of us really go over there cause we don’t like Donny and his friends and that’s where they hang out. Or, they used to, I haven’t seen any of them in a while, so I think it’s just Donny, but he’s the worst for sure. This quiet kid named Job used to stay over there, but he just disappeared. And then there were Benny and Ricky and Carol, but they all took up other hobbies. And then Teddy and Johnny moved, so now it’s pretty much just Donny at the top of the slide by himself. I don’t know why he stays there, nobody likes him.”
Nguyen seemed to agree with this point, claiming, “Yeah, I try to just avoid Donny altogether. He makes a lot of people feel bad, but he’s not in our group. You know who used to be in our group? Bert. He has weird hair.”
Administrators have decided to suspend recess for at least another week, and possibly longer after the fight. According to Principal Ginsburn, “recess is a great privilege that comes with great responsibility, and based on the actions of these kids, we’re not sure they have the maturity or decision-making abilities necessary to behave appropriately.”