by Lydia S '15

Some BSGE Flour Babies Met With Unfortunate End

On January 20th, the sidewalks surrounding BSGE were painted white with flour; obvious evidence that the BSGE’s 9th grade flour babies had been disposed of gruesomely. Flour trailed in front of the building to the deli and all the way down to the 36th Street subway station. What started out as a fun Health class project turned into careless acts of vandalism. In the past years, flour babies had been tossed outside the building but only about one each year. This year’s actions were definitely unprecedented.
Freshman students walked around with deformed looking flour babies with trails of spilled flour on the hallway floors.  This year, only one Health class had received the Flour Baby project, as distributed by Mr. Powell, BSGE’s Gym/Health class teacher. The assignment was to carry around a 5 pound sack of flour, decorated to look like a real baby, for an entire week. Students had to carry the babies with them where ever they go, even to the facilities. The assignment would be graded by Mr. Powell occasionally giving a “check-up” on the babies by walking around and chasing down every Freshman parent to see if they had their babies on them.  If not, the students lost10 points from their grade.
When asked about the goal of this project, Mr. Powell replied, “The purpose of the project is that teenagers think they exist in a bubble and nothing bad will ever happen. So, having a flour baby can help them from having a rude awakening. So it gives students the opportunity to know how it would feel to be a parent.” Other high schools in New York and other states have different variations of this project, some schools have to carry around an egg for a whole week and some have to carry around a fake baby doll. But in the end, they all have the same goal which is to let teens get a taste of the responsibilities of parenthood and to consider sexual choices carefully.
Unfortunately the 9th grade class taking part in the flour baby project, took “getting rid of their babies” to a whole different level. Freshman trashed their flour babies, smashing them against walls and on the floor, taking part in flour fights. Students from other classes took part in these activities as well. But as every student in BSGE knows, anything you do will be known about and you will have to suffer the consequences. Ms. Johnson and Mr. Powell personally spoke with the mischievous class and made the agreement that if the persons involved with the acts of vandalism didn’t confess by the end of the day, the whole class would suffer. Ms. Johnson threatened the class with her forensic abilities that by using left over ripped flour packages and foot prints she would discover the culprits. But in the end, the students involved confessed and had to write up a report on what happened and were free to go.
When asked on his opinion on everything that happened during these flour baby projects, Mr. Powell commented, “I know kids will be kids, so sometimes they’re going to do things that are a little immature but it was embarrassing for the community and it was the first time this happened at BSGE, so I was very disappointed that it happened with that class”. Hopefully future 9th graders will learn from the upper classmen’s mistakes and perhaps make cookies out of their children instead of treating the pretend children they cared for like trash.

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