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  • Writer's pictureChristine Stevens

Quick Update from the Principal re: the Lion in your Classroom

Updated: Aug 25, 2021

Dear Garfield Middle School Teachers,

I received a lot of feedback from many of you after my previous note about lions in your classrooms and wanted to follow up. It seems many of you are not enthusiastic about the prospect of teaching with a wild animal in a room full of children with windows that often don’t work and only one or at the most, two exits. Understandable.

Therefore, after your union made their concerns known, the State Dept. of Ed has mandated that our classes be held outdoors. Your classroom lion will accompany your class; the hope is, given more space to roam, the lions will be less lion-ish.

After doing a little googling, I found more recent info re: lions preference for adults vs. children. It turns out lions do tend to eat children. The hope is that being outdoors will give all of us more room to run away from them. Since we had to RIF Mr. Holt the Phys Ed teacher, this activity will now earn students credit for P.E.

To protect us from the elements, the school district will put up tents and we’re hoping the lions will feel more at home under a big top given their previous habitat. Ms. Scott is wondering about teaching outdoors in northern New England in the fall and the anticipated drop in temperatures; the Dept. of Ed has assured us that the lions will not be adversely affected by the cold.

Mr. Sullivan did raise a concern about the lions in an outdoor setting - he wondered if any heavily armed big game hunter might see it as an opportunity to, well, shoot fish in a barrel, to put it bluntly. We’re not sure how a lockdown is going to work on an open field and blacktop usually reserved for basketball, soccer and kickball. But we’re putting in a lot of Zoom time on this one.

Mr. Sullivan (aged 31) has recently realized his arthritic knees would render him unable to run away from a lion (or a big game hunter with a semi-automatic) and has since sent a note from his doctor to the superintendent, asking to be excused from teaching, forever. Our Google Meet ‘Goodbye Mr. Sullivan Party’ will take place on Tuesday at 3pm. Wear a funny hat.

I’ve had a few spirited emails from parents, many of whom are considering keeping their students home until the lions have been removed or contained. Since the Donor’s Choose campaign for cages is stalled out at $23.54, I’m assuming we’ll have smaller class sizes for the foreseeable future.

As mentioned before, this is a developing situation which means we are making it up as we go along. God help us all.

I’m sure you have questions. I just don’t have answers.

All bets are off,

Maria Wilson


Garfield Middle School

by Christine Stevens

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