Puppies, Kittens, and Acid Burns

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Issue 5, Volume 113

By Astrid Harrington 

Cover Image

Every child has heard of Bring Your Kid to Work Day. At some point in time, many of us have watched our parents at work, marveling at the novelty of their routine. We’ve seen the strange touch of pride in their expressions as they show us their life’s profession. Ever since Stuyvesant was founded, we’ve longed for the equivalent of Bring Your Kid to Work Day, but unfortunately, few students have their own children. Another option had to be found.

After years of extensive planning, the school administration found the answer. Stuyvesant will now have two Bring Your Pet to School Days every year: one in October and one in April. The purpose of the new plan is to reduce students’ stress by giving them emotional comfort in the form of animals. The administration placed almost no restrictions on the pets’ freedom—dogs didn’t have to be leashed and birds didn't have to be caged. The only requirement was that the students and pets had to promote an atmosphere conducive to learning. Unfortunately, given the fact that animals don’t understand English, this message was very difficult to pass along.

The first trial of Bring Your Pet to School Day happened two Thursdays ago. Pets began to enter the school with their owners at 7:45 a.m. By 7:55 a.m., the halls were full of various creatures slithering, bolting, and flapping alongside their owners. The cafeteria was especially chaotic because no one could decide whether the pets were entitled to their own school breakfast. The pets ignored this raging debate since they didn’t care what anyone said—they were getting food one way or another.

When first period began, the animals in the classrooms made such a ruckus that one-third of all the teachers in the school went home crying. Several classes were taking tests on the fourth floor, but no one could concentrate through all the noise. Fifty students failed their tests in that period alone. “It was really difficult,” said junior Mike Kwyet. “I was taking a calculus test, but this stupid bird wouldn’t leave me alone, and it pooped on my paper. There were at least seven dogs barking their heads off, and at one point, a snake came in the door hissing at everyone. There was no way any of us could’ve passed.” Simultaneously, on the ninth floor, some chemistry students were doing an acids and bases lab with a multitude of pets in the room. The pets made it extremely difficult to work; they were jumping onto the tables in the lab and spilling various solutions. Though no one ended up dead, several people found themselves in dire need of the safety shower, and one unfortunate student spent 30 minutes using the eye wash. By the end of the first period, the teachers had given up on teaching and were just trying to keep their students alive.

By the time sixth period arrived, all the math teachers had abandoned the fourth floor and were sheltering in the auditorium. They had effectively blockaded all the entrances, and they ignored the pitiful cries of students pounding on the doors in search of refuge. Many years of giving painful tests had desensitized them to students’ suffering. The English teachers collectively went on strike and abandoned the building, leaving the sixth floor empty and covered in bird droppings. The social studies teachers touched base in Ms. Suri’s office and went on the offensive, throwing the heaviest textbooks that they could find at the rampaging pets. Only the science teachers paid the students any attention, setting up two temporary hospitals in the third- and sixth-floor gyms.

Halfway through seventh period, Principal Yu used the school’s announcement system to inform everyone that the school day was officially over. He told everyone to leave with their pets and declared that school would be held remotely the next day.

In the end, upward of 100 pets were lost in the school building, including but not limited to dogs, cats, snakes, parrots, bunnies, and chameleons. They are still being recovered. In fact, a boa constrictor was recently found when it bit a student on the seventh floor. During the next few hours, several bunnies and birds were found dead, also on the seventh floor. More than 200 students were hospitalized for various reasons, including snake bites, acid burns, and severe allergic reactions. The school is now facing a copious number of lawsuits, and on top of all of this, students reported a massive increase in their stress level because of failed tests, increased workload, and disruption of their routine. This was not exactly the intended outcome.

Clearly, this was a flawed but excellent first test run. Once the school smooths out a few issues, we should be completely ready for trial number two in April!