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In English 11H, we're spending the week doing invaluable ACT prep work. Here's my response to prompt #2 from somewhere in Ms. Sanford's copy of The Real ACT Prep Guide 2005.

In some high schools, many teachers and parents have encouraged the school to adopt a dress code that sets guidelines for what students can wear in the school building. Some teachers and parents support a dress code because they think it will improve the learning environment in the school. Other teachers and parents do not support a dress code because they think it restricts the individual student's freedom of expression. In your opinion, should high school adopt dress codes for students?

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Hems are soaring, pants are drooping, and debate is raging about the single most important issue facing educators today: what on earth should be done about the dress code? In my opinion, the answer is clear: students should be forced to wear full-body black bags and undergo a facial rinse to remove all makeup upon entering campus. Jewelry and polish should be purged from the student body, and all students should be required to go barefoot. This will improve the educational environment of American schools by eliminating yet another ticking time bomb of student freedom, as well as keeping lustful thoughts of all kinds from germinating in fungoid young minds. I think you'll see the advantages of my plan as schools across the nation begin to implement it; results will be tremendous.

The black-bag plan, as it's nicknamed by professionals, aids educators in their quest for drab uniformity in the classroom. No teacher wants to have to know their students by name or face; it's a nuisance, and hinders impartiality in testing. Teachers do not become teachers because they want to help allegedly unique individuals start their so-called life journeys. Everyone in the classroom should simply be present from seven to two in order to obtain a diploma or a paycheck. After student-run newspapers, political demonstrations, and other threats to a secure campus are removed, American schools will get back to business. It is my belief that the single-minded focus the black-bag plan encourages will be the biggest boon to struggling schools since the No Child Left Behind Act.

Another crucial point of the black-bag plan is its effective discouragement of whorish behavior, homosexuality, underage fornication, masturbation, and other sexual aberrations among students, faculty, and staff. It has been clinically proven that any thoughts or behavior of this kind cause truancy, drunk driving, and awkward silences. If all students are forced to maintain upright posture while clad in the black bag, no threats to adolescent purity can penetrate their natural innocence. Foot fetishism can be discouraged by ensuring that the bag is long enough to cover toes while standing. This may occasionally cause students to trip in the hallways, but this effect can be mitigated by lengthening break periods (accompanied, of course, by an increase in supervision). It is not unlikely that the black-bag plan may reduce teen pregnancy and venereal-disease transmission by 99 percent. The advantages are self-evident.

Some may argue that the black-bag plan will cost the taxpayer - however, I reply that students should always be forced to pay for their own black bags. Those who cannot pay should be barred from school, as they will never amount to anything in life anyways. Reducing the graduation rate will replenish our struggling service and labor sectors by providing a constant stream of uneducated workers who are more likely not to know their rights and never unionize, eradicating such bothersome concepts as health care, pensions, and weekends. According to some very recent research, the black bag plan may increase the nation's GDP by up to 400 percent.

To you I say: we can win the war on struggling schools in one fell swoop. The black-bag plan for a uniformly successful campus will be the educational equivalent of deploying the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hand in hand, the educators of America waltz toward a brighter future. This is where we are going.

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What grade would you give this essay? (Seriously, PM me. I want a grading rubric to go here.)

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My dad points out that the graduation rate would actually be increased by a reduction in enrollment. A technical inaccuracy in the essay, but another benefit for my plan!

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