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CMS' final forum: A Creative Loafing fantasy 

School board Chair Eric Davis: Ladies and gentlemen, can I have your attention, please? Hel-lo! People!? We'd like to get started; we want to have time to hear your comments, and we don't want to have to throw people out or have them arrested like we've been doing.

Voice from back of the room: This time, we'll throw your ass out, dude.

Laughter, mixed with boos, from the crowd.

Davis: I'm Eric Davis, chair of the school board, and I welcome you to the final forum on school re-assignments and closings for the 2011-12 CMS school year. After all our public meetings and forums, the board took your many comments into consideration, and tonight we present the final lineup of changes in store for CMS. So, without further ado, let's get right to what students and parents want to know: the wrenching changes in your lives you'll have to endure whether you like it or not. Hey ... who wrote this? It was supposed to say "all the exciting new educational opportunities awaiting them."

Same voice from back of the room: Ha-haaaah — you been punked, Business Suit!

Crowd laughs, with some boos mixed in; boos get louder as a security guard walks onstage with two K-9 Corps dogs.

Davis: OK, OK, we've had a good laugh, now let's present the final list. And Jack, please don't come out here unless you're called, OK? And get these guard dogs off the stage. All right, back to the list.

First of all, we learned our lesson: Waddell and Harding High will stay roughly the same. To make that happen, we had to install other changes that, frankly, could only have come from a board inspired by the sheer genius of CMS Superintendent Peter Gorman.

New voice from back of the room: Butt lick!

Davis: Please, let's keep things civil. Now, here is the final plan. You'll notice that the plan will be projected on the wall behind me, one item at a time, as I announce them.

OK, first of all, Harding High's IB and math & science programs will stay put; the rest of the building will be filled with spillover from crowded North Mecklenburg High. Waddell stays the same, but will achieve full capacity by spillover from Mallard Creek High. Smith Language Academy stays put, but kids will have to grow their own vegetables for lunch.

Several voices in audience: Huh?!

Davis: Amay James and Double Oaks Elementary schools will merge and move into the secret basement in the Hal Marshall Building Uptown. Reid Park Elementary will become a county recycling center and tire store.

First voice from back of room: What the f...?!

Davis: Myers Park, East Meck and Independence will merge and meet in Time Warner Arena on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; and in a big cornfield (location to be named later), on Tuesdays and Thursdays. All magnet elementary schools will be moved to the buildings now occupied by Myers Park, East Meck and Independence High Schools. A bar and grill will be installed at each of these high school buildings, serving as profit centers for CMS.

Crowd noises increase, the guard dogs walk onstage again.

Davis: Please, folks, calm down. Let me finish and then you'll have plenty of time for commenting. Now, where was I? Oh, yeah, the empty magnet elementary buildings will be used to relieve crowding in suburban schools, reducing class sizes in the 'burbs to no more than 80 students each. Overcrowded schools beginning with the letters A-L will move to similarly alphabetized empty magnets, and vice versa for the letters M-Z, except for Mint Hill Middle School, which will be moved to the Chantilly Montessori building.

Woman comes onstage and whispers in Davis' ear.

Davis: Sorry, I should have said the right-handed students at Mint Hill will move to Chantilly. Mint Hill's left-handers will be driven around in a bus all day with various teachers parachuted in for classes.

Crowd surges forward, shouting.

Davis: OK, folks, hold on, we'll get to your comments in a minute.

Scores of crowd members climb onstage, berating Davis. Jack and his dogs return, attacking various crowd members at random.

Davis: Ahem, folks, that about wraps it up. As Davis rushes offstage, he yells: Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo. So little time, so much to know.

Jack and his dogs disappear in the crowd, which then burns the building to the ground.

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