Banishing Balloons, Bouquets, and Belly Dancers
"It started with one or two singing telegrams," said Marvin G. O'Hare, assistant superintendent of schools in Dubuque, Iowa, "then it began to mushroom."
He was referring to a fad that has resulted in almost daily deliveries of balloons, bouquets, candy--and even a belly dancer--at one city high school, and which has mobilized the principals of other schools to recommend a districtwide policy on the matter.
Students at Hempstead High School began remembering one another's birthdays and special occasions this year with the services of a firm that specializes in such hand-delivered commemoratives.
But, as Donald Moody, the school's principal, told district officials last month, the harmless gesture soon grew to unmanageable proportions. His 1,800-student school was receiving between five and 10 surprise deliveries a week, he said.
Because of the general disruption the practice was causing, Mr. Moody has asked district officials to consider drafting a formal policy on the matter, making a distinction between the occasional delivery of balloons and flowers that might be used as part of school activities and the sometimes exotic surprises ordered up for individuals.
High-school principals in the area are scheduled to recommend such a policy to the school board next month--just in time for the poinsettia season.--kg