Nashua, NH—A group of junior-high students at Benjamin Pierce Elementary School today inadvertently burned down their school building. No one was hurt in the blaze, which occurred during lunchtime recess, when nearly all students were outside on the playground. The students who set the school aflame were apparently conducting unauthorized experiments in the school’s science lab. “We were bored and just wanted to try some new experiments with the chemicals we were using in science class,” explained one girl involved in the accident. The girl and the three other students involved—who are all minors—have been honor roll students at the school every year since the 3rd grade.
The Nashua school district to which Benjamin Pierce Elementary belongs recently adopted the controversial Common Core State Standards Initiative for education. Opponents of the Common Core were quick to pounce on today’s incident, blaming the new standards for the students’ behavior. “See, this is what Common Core is all about,” said Eileen McInerny of the non-profit organization, Common Is As Common Does. “A set of dumbed-down, one-size-fits-all standards only serves to frustrate students who are eager to excel. This kind of recklessness on the part of students is what we can expect from the Common Core going forward.” Added Scott Tyler of Rotten to the Core: “What else can we expect when students know that these standards are actually designed to allow the federal government to conduct data mining into their personal lives and to procure their very DNA? They are predictably lashing out at society and the powers-that-be.”
Defenders of the Common Core, like Benjamin Pierce science teacher Rudy Baker, commended the students for their careful reading of the science textbook, which described the properties of the chemicals used to ignite the conflagration. “The Common Core calls for careful reading of the text,” Baker explained, “and gosh-darnit, these kids read and understood the text’s descriptions of the exact properties of the chemicals and their incendiary potential.”
When contacted, the superintendent of the Nashua School District, Marjorie Henckels, said that the students would be suspended from the school for a month and would be forced to make restitution for the destruction. Henckels added that there were be a public meeting for the community about the Common Core standards.