A Modest Proposal

A Modest Proposal
Art Credit: Maxim Lugina/Unsplash

(With Apologies to Jonathan Swift)

Being for the Benefit of the Citizens of Our Glorious County, Their Children, and Future Faithful Generations

By James Noll

It is a terrible thing to those who are invested in education when they visit its government schools or secretly audit its libraries only to discover them rife with children—none of the boys wearing khaki pants and white polo shirts, none of the girls covering their ankles—learning subjects such as history, science, and mathematics, or worse, reading fiction, some of the titles having been written by foreign influences or citizens of Massachusetts. These poor children, having not known any better, have been tempted by their unscrupulous instructors to suckle at the specious teat of critical thinking, to fornicate with ARABIC(!) NUMERALS, to copulate with the lie of paleontology. 

I think we can all agree that our children have been robbed of their ignorance long enough. That time has come to an end, for all over our nation we have been blessed with the ascension of Great Prophets to local Government School Boards, including our own. Where once I sat in the audience of these meetings, sneering as the slack-jawed appointees quibbled over budgetary concerns or crafted policies that “protected” students and staff from a clearly government engineered “pandemic,” I now, with uplifted heart, observe these Newly Ascendant devote entire agendas to scolding our citizens for their lack of religious faith and denouncing literacy and homosexuality. 

Of all the wonders I have observed at these meetings, I am most grateful for the introduction to several book titles which, had the Newly Ascendant not mentioned them, I would have never known existed—titles such as, among others, All Boys Aren’t Blue; Red, White, and Royal Blue; and Boy Toy. Upon learning about them, I immediately flew to the closest local pagan bookseller and purchased each one posthaste. Minutes later, safely ensconced within the private confines of my abode, I devoured each title like a ravenous beast. My gloved hands shook with such rage that I found it difficult to turn the pages, sweat sheening my body, my face glowing red as I gobbled passage after blasphemous passage. At one point I became so rigid with fury that I excused myself from my wife and retreated to the water closet for several minutes so that I could exercise my shuddering rage in private.

It is with these thoughts in mind that I propose further improvements to our Government Schools, to turn our decaying systems away from those who believe that dinosaurs and humans did not exist at the same time and towards those WHO KNOW THAT THEY DID. 

First, it has become apparent that Socialist actors from the rapacious dens of sin that constitute the whole of Boston and Cambridge have managed to infiltrate our Government School Board meetings. As our craven local constabulary has abdicated its responsibility to protect its most faithful servants, announcing they will no longer stand sentinel at these meetings (perhaps the sheriff’s reading predilections and personal Internet consumption should be investigated?), I propose the Government School Board hire its own security forces to safeguard our Newly Ascendant leaders from the vile whispers of the pretenders. Who else will frog march from the room those who, during public comments, dare question the judgment of our prophets? We will, of course, need to outfit our troopers in properly intimidating uniforms. Brown shirts should suffice, along with brown jodhpurs purchased from the local military surplus stockpile along with their most stylish and reasonably priced jackboots. 

Second, considering said constabulary’s impudence in daring to uphold these so-called and, if I am being honest, embarrassingly secular First Amendment “rights” of those impudent naysayers who would speak out against our prophets, I propose replacing each Government School Resource Officer with a member of this newly-conscripted Sacred School Board Security Force. Not only would a single SSBSF officer be able to supplant two (nay three!) government-hired employees, they would also be readily available to observe, document, and report any non-compliance or otherwise unseemly behavior exhibited by the administration, faculty, or staff. 

While it is true that our Lord Protector Governor has already set up a tip line the faithful can use to report any “educators” who dare blaspheme our children’s ears with socialist multiplication tables, it is simply not enough to tattle. Indeed, I recommend special provisions be granted to allow each Security Force officer to arrest, judge, and sentence said offenders. This will permit the county courts to focus on more important tasks, such as rounding up and prosecuting sexual deviants, sodomites, Moslems, Jews, and natives of Massachusetts, in addition to re-renaming our schools, streets, and highways after the devout generals of the Confederacy and reinstalling all statues and monuments commemorating the Lost Cause to their rightful positions, including, but not limited to, the J.E.B Stuart, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson Monuments in Richmond, Virginia, the Slave Auction Block in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and The Emmett Till Riverwalk Cotton Gin Fan Photo Op in Money, Mississippi.

Third, all books deemed by the Sacred School Board to be inappropriate, deviant, or sexually suggestive, or which promote witchcraft, mopery, atheism, humor, churchyard congress, dangerous lifestyles, blasphemous dialog, Buddhism, Sikhism, Judaism, Islamism, or Anarchism will be summarily stripped from all local library shelves and personal collections for immediate burning. A single copy of each of these books, however, shall be preserved and stored in the local SSB sanctum where they will be carefully curated by a Magistrate of Dangerous Resources. 

As the position is nascent to our holy county, I myself volunteer for the role. It is not without regret that I take on this appointment, for it seems a dull and entirely tedious enterprise; however, someone must guard our flock from the perils of reading books, specifically those regarding homosexuality, sodomy, sex education, bisexuality, homosexuality, and, of course, sodomy. I promise to keep a careful watch over these vile tomes, making sure to review each one carefully and in detail, multiple times if necessary, to ensure the purity of our culture does not run foul. As a precaution only, the chairman of the Sacred School Board and his fellow prophets and acolytes will also be given access to these books so that we may review their properties as a group, sometimes in comfortable chairs, sometimes reposing on plush rugs or frilled pillows, often under the long-proven evil-distracting lights of a heavenly disco ball, our ear canals massaged, kneaded, and caressed by pulsating, throbbing, bass-driven, um, hymns.

Fourth, as a matter of course, taxation is theft. The budget for our Government School System equates to roughly more than 51 percent of our annually grifted shekels. In the past, I have argued to slash that amount to a more palatable if arbitrary 10 to 15 percent. Yes, positions might be cut. Yes, careers might be destroyed. But our educators should be grateful for the opportunity to model in the face of hardship the righteousness of grace, grit, and gumption. As someone living off of Social Security and a munificent federal pension, it is a step I am willing to take. After all, any tax cut is a good tax cut, and the citizens of this great county have the right to spend what equates to a few hundred dollars a year any way we deem fit, preferably by tithing or purchasing firewood for our weekly Loyalty Rallies. 

However, now that I see the political tide changing, I find myself realizing the folly of my former sentiments. Yes, the budget should be cut, but rather than returning the money to the general population (who would most likely spend it on vaping and pornography or tchotchkes from Hallmark anyway), I now heartily believe the 41 percent overage should be retained and split three ways: 

a. The first measure should be earmarked to purchase truncheons and brass knuckles for our SSBFS troops, for if they are to provide security at our meetings, they require protection from the shrieking middle-aged banshees who frequently berate our Newly Ascendant leaders. 

b. The second measure should be used to institute a SSBSF Youth Program. The SSBSF Youth (or SS Youth, for brevity’s sake) will consist of faithful children in our current Government School System who, having passed an initial purity challenge, will be invited to engage in a battery of standardized tests, including, but not limited to, fraternity-style hazing and a live-ammunition obstacle course. Requirements for admission will be strict, as we only desire the most unadulterated, maniacal, capable, attractive, and cardio-vascularly fit to populate these ranks. Those who manage to survive the rigid testing will be officially baptized into the new SS Youth, provided their brown SS Youth shirts, SS Youth jodhpurs, and SS Youth jackboots, and tasked with their holy cause: to aid their elders by spying on fellow students and teachers and reporting any behavior, thoughts, or other expressions that run counter to Sacred School Board doctrine or dare critique our Newly Ascendant leaders in any form.

c. The final measure will be directed toward the purchase of more literature deemed sexually deviant for further review and group satisfaction as described in my third point.

No doubt, many current educators will raise a great hue and cry about this reallocation of funds, for they are, to the letter, the most ornery clan of grousing slugabeds ever to befoul our land. Have you ever met a creature so smug, so arrogant, so petty as a teacher? Rather than be content with summers off, abbreviated work hours, and rudimentary health care, they have the nerve to complain about subpar wages and rotting infrastructure. 

I can hear their whinging already. 

“But what about my car payment? How will I eat? WHERE WILL MY CHILDREN SLEEP?”

As you have probably already deduced, I am a magnanimous soul. Change is difficult, so I will forgive them their spite. Instead, I wish, in the spirit of comity, to extend to any teachers who remain on the job after the new budget is announced the following offer.

To begin, all teachers who find themselves in the embarrassing position of foreclosure and destitution will be allotted housing in the form of the schools already in place. 

Et Voilà! Problem solved!

Not only will our edu-servants (or eduvants) enjoy rooms many times larger than those in their current domiciles, but they will also no longer have worry about any sort of commute. They can simply wake up, roll their beds into the wall, and get to work. In addition, they will see their productivity skyrocket as they will always be on the job, available to field all communications from angry parents, students, and administrators, complete professional development exercises, fill out paperwork, and clean the building—the last point contributing to even more savings as we will not have to employ janitorial staff. Finally, to take care of their sustenance, entertainment, and physical fitness needs, all eduvants will be given full access to the school kitchen, libraries, and exercise equipment between the hours of 3 and 5. 

I see nothing but benefits in this arrangement. In fact, seeing as our eduvants will be afforded every luxury they could possibly desire all in a single campus, I cannot imagine that there will be any need for them to venture out of the school for any reason whatsoever. However, should they wish to stroll beyond the grounds, perhaps to picnic on one of the grass-covered lane dividers on the road in front of the school or enjoy a round of Russian calisthenics in the rock-strewn playground, they need only submit, in triplicate, an application to the Sacred School Board. Should permission be granted, members of the SS will be on-hand to escort them throughout their journey to properly ensure safety and compliance, of course.

Fifth, all science textbooks are to be scrubbed of any mention of Darwin, Darwinism, evolution, and any passages that describe dinosaurs absent their devoted human companions. All math classes will be relegated to memorizing, in perpetuity, multiplication tables WITH ANGLO SAXON NUMERALS ONLY. All history textbooks are to include perspectives friendly to alternate views of the Holocaust, slavery, the decimation of the Native Americans, British Colonialism, Apartheid, the Tulsa Massacre, the Tuskegee Experiment, and Vladimir Putin. The only books allowed to be taught in English class will be those published prior to 1950, with the exceptions of Brave New World and 1984. All art and music classes are to be immediately terminated. Only boys may participate in extra-curricular activities, and all extra-curricular activities other than full-contact football and the Youth Anti-Abortion League (our Little Lifers!) are hereby canceled.

I cannot even begin to imagine a reasonable, Christ-fearing person would disagree with any of these ideas. I see no reason why every Sacred School Board in our nation cannot immediately institute these policies. Since no one in the general public seems even remotely willing to air any solution at all to fix the problems facing our education system, I refuse to let them talk to me of other ways of improving it: of raising real estate taxes so as to properly compensate our educators and fully fund our schools; of supporting literacy, knowledge, rational thought, introspection, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and the free-flow of ideas; of crafting legislature to ban the use of cell phones in the classroom; of demanding a whit of responsible parenting from the mothers, fathers, and guardians of the students who refuse to do work or talk constantly in class or are more interested in distracting their classmates than actually becoming thinking, feeling, enlightened human beings; of ridding all school systems everywhere of the poisonous yolk that is standardized testing; of respecting educators’ intelligence, scholarship, and abilities by allowing them to create their own curriculum and methods of teaching; of acknowledging that all students of all races, colors, creeds, abilities, and sexual orientation are deserving of respect, love, and support; of reducing class sizes to legitimately manageable numbers; of eliminating for teachers the gargantuan sludge pile of meaningless paperwork, pointless professional development, and other onerous bureaucratic nonsense; of purging all School Boards of cronyism, ignorance, corruption, pride, venality, racism, and idiocy; of demanding that any School Board member who engages in such behavior be immediately removed and permanently barred from ever holding such office again; and lastly, of prosecuting any School Board member guilty of corruption to the fullest extent of the law so that no one will ever be able to so nakedly and cynically abuse public office for personal gain again without fear of serious, dire, and permanent consequences.

To those of you who charge that I will personally benefit from my ideas, I cry shame. I can as much profit from these proposals as I can summon an elf to flaunce around my apartments, eating figs, and performing nude burpees, for I have no children, and my wife and I have no intention of creating any. We have only ever engaged in sexual congress once in our marriage, at least with each other, something that proved to be an altogether regrettable experience, I’m sure, for her.


James Noll has worked as a sandwich maker, a yogurt dispenser, a day care provider, a video store clerk, a day care provider (again), a summer camp counselor, a waiter, a prep cook, a sandwich maker (again), a line cook, a security guard, a line cook (again), a bartender, a librarian, and a teacher. Somewhere in there he played drums in punk rock bands, recorded several albums, and wrote dozens of short stories and a handful of horror, sci-fi, and post-apocalyptic novels, including Raleigh’s Prep, Tracker’s Travail, Topher’s Son, The Hive, The Jaguar & The Snake, and Mungwort. You can check him out online at

Art Credit (Woman with burning book): Maxim Lugina/Unsplash