Sugar on the Slate Author:Don Fontaine The town of Peyton was a reasonably happy and sane community with a reasonably good junior high school. This was before Mr. Burkhardt, the school principal, was appointed chairman or the Committee on Techniques for Administering a Program of Instructional Classroom Activities in the Modern Child-Centered Junior High School. What followed is told... more » in this delightful comedy of errors when a group of uninhibited young devils are turned loose on their unsuspecting elders.
Mr. Burkhardt's ideas started in a mild way with a plan to "Live" Latin, Spanish, math and other subjects as they were learned. This involved nothing more than the occasional wearing of homemade togas, ponchos or the like, and the geometrical arrangement of chairs. It was what the teachers behind Mr. Burkhardt back called "Sugar on the Slate," an euphemism for happy learning.
More Stringent innovations followed and were endured-until Junior High City Goverment Day when the students were to take over the various public offices. The first inkling of disaster came when Rose Chapman was elected police chief on the platform "The laws of this city are not being enforced-Rose Chapman will enfoce every law on the books."
Rose was as good as her word and she discovered some amazing ordinances enacted by the founding fathers a century earlier. Some of the milder of these required all citizens to have their names painted on the front walls of their houses and all dogs to wear bells.
The results were too painful to describe. It is enough to say that the courts were crowded and the criminals received little mercy from Judge Buster McCoy until a halt was called and a more traditional form of education resumed.
In this, his first novel, Don Fontaine, himself a schoolteacher, has produced a most entertaining and enlightening tale of modern education gone wild.« less