Lifeline To Oppressed Easthampton Ninth-Graders:  How To Fight The Power and Stay Cool

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Dear Easthampton High School Freshman,


That’s what you are, right? A freshman?

You just started high school? That’s why they call you a “freshman”?

Except they don’t, anymore. Or so they claim. More about that in a minute.

Chances are you’re about 14 years old. Teen-ager. Feeling a little rebellious?

Nothing wrong with that. All part of growing up.

What you need, though, is a healthy target (HT).

Healthy targets do not include your parents, your siblings, your friends, your teachers, your grades, your skin, your face, your cheeks, or the little bit of flesh in between your nostrils. Leave those alone. Even show ‘em some love.

Here’s your new HT:


When your school district’s Inter-Diversity Institutional Organizer of Transitions (IDIOT) approaches you in the hall and asks if you are a “first year,” as the new version of your school’s Student Handbook instructs him to do, correct him. Here’s what you can say:

“I am a freshman.”

Fight the power. Stick it to The Man. (Just not the freshman.)

For you see, The Man really is a guy, some dude somewhere taking advantage of his power and causing trouble for regular people (like you) for no good reason.

But freshman, well, that’s a signifier for a ninth-grader in a language where the word “man” can refer either to an adult male or to anyone who belongs to the species homo sapiens. That is:  Can refer either to a male or a female. In high school terms, “freshman” is a ninth-grader.

That’s you.

So you can call yourself that. In fact, you should.

Now, you’re going to get some heat for this civil disobedience. (And do keep it civil; no need to tell the IDIOT what you really think of him.)

The administrator is going to act offended. So are some of your school chums trying to pad their application to Middlebury College.

I notice your high school has an online Bias-related Incident Reporting Form. You might get dinged there. So what do you do?

Keep your cool.

Tell the diversity police that “freshman” is part of your cultural heritage – that you identify with a minority culture (Western Civilization) that has been using the term since the 1540s. Mention to the officer that you also honor the ancient culture of Easthampton High School, which officially used the term as recently as the fall of 2017.

Tell the officer you feel threatened by the micro-aggression against your language identity (English).

And if all else fails, let your fingers do the talking. Go on your school’s web site and fill out a Bullying Prevention Reporting Form.

Whatever else these people are, they … are … very …

… very …

… very …


By the time they sort out the complaints and cross-complaints, you may be a senior. Or whatever they’re calling you by then.


Matt McDonald is Publisher and Editor-In-Chief of New Boston Post. Read other articles by him here.