RICHMOND, Va. — Following the ‘Fund Our Future’ rally in which hundreds of teachers protested for increased funding for public schools, Gov. Ralph Northam has instituted a temporary ban on No. 2 pencils in the classroom.
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Northam has long been a proponent of banning No. 2 pencils, and has consistently lobbied for their removal from the classroom in favor of Dr. Grip pens for their ergonomic benefits. He first learned of the dangers of No. 2 pencils after stumbling across a copy of the Butthole Surfers’ 1996 album “Electriclarryland” at a flea market ten years ago. The album cover famously features a bloody pencil jammed into a person’s ear.
“Seeing that hunk of graphite lodged all the way up to someone’s tympanic membrane just gave me chills,” Northam said. “As a matter of public safety, we must get rid of them forever.”
Northam’s proposal has garnered broad support from Republicans in the state legislature, as the ban would save taxpayers more than $2.4 million annually, and taking critical resources away from poor minority children is something of a Republican pastime.
“This is not only a safety measure, but it also helps us balance the budget for other things that schools need,” Northam explained in a statement, adding that the traditional school pencil was becoming obsolete in a technology-driven society anyway.
“With the money saved on giving No. 2 pencils the boot, we’ll be able to afford things like proper sex education classes, transgender paper towel dispensers for every lavatory, and we’ll finally be able to install all of the equipment needed to create a brewery in every public school kitchen.”
There is no word yet on how long the No. 2 pencil ban will last, and the measure is expected to be challenged in court by both the ACLU and the Scantron lobby.
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