The Lawyers Who Say Meep! High School Calls Police After Attorney Says Meep to Principal

Beaker_muppetFirst there were the Knights Who Say Ni! (below). Now we have the problem of the lawyers who say Meep! After reading the recent publications over the decision of the principal of Danvers High School banning students from saying the word “Meep,” Entertainment lawyer Theodora Michaels decided to act and wrote a letter using the four-letter word to Principal Thomas Murray, who comes across as a high school version of Dean Vernon Wormer from Animal House. She was immediately reported to the police for investigation by the school.

Murray stumbled on a conspiracy on Facebook where he learned that kids in the Danvers High School in Massachusetts intended to say “Meep!” in school — mimicking the lab assistant to Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Beaker, of “The Muppet Show.”

Meep is actually in the dictionary which defines it as “whatever you want it to mean.” Murray, however, did not want it in his school and banned it — sending an automated call to parents warning that any student using “Meep!” could be suspended. His minions had uncovered a plot for students to do a “mass meep” in one part of the school.

That is when Michaels decided to nail her letter to the Internet door like a Meepish Martin Luther.

Here is the entire letter:

An open letter to Principal Murray of Danvers High School (MA):

Meep.

Sincerely,
Theodora Michaels

She says that the response was fast and furious: “Yesterday I received a reply email from Assistant Principal Mark Strout, which said (in full) “Your E-mail has been forwarded to the Danvers Police Department.”

I am pretty sure that Meep is not a form of hate speech, even under the Muppet criminal code. Methinks that Murray doth protest too much.

For her account of the controversy, click here.

For the original story, click here and here.

91 thoughts on “The Lawyers Who Say Meep! High School Calls Police After Attorney Says Meep to Principal”

  1. Insider,

    You’ve got some real anger issues, especially with female news reporters. You condemn society for its lack of respect in one breath, and in the next you use the sexist insult “bimbo.” If you think quoting a few Bible verses indemnifies you from your sexist insults, you are mistaken. I would advise you to remain anonymous.

    It is not the “meepers” who have brought negative attention to our school, but the principal’s reaction to them.

  2. Insider,

    I was a teacher for more than three decades. I do understand more than low level humor. I also understand how difficult the job of teaching has become in recent years. I also think the news media often try to hype controversial stories.

    But I can’t help but wonder if the prinicipal’s leaving a voice message on answering machines was the best way to handle a situation that you say is a serious as it is?

    And it does appear that the problem at the school is a much more serious behavioral issue than kids just saying Meep. (I have talked to someone who teaches in the community.) Telling kids that they can’t say Meep–doesn’t get at the core of the problem, which should be addressed. I just wonder if the situation could have been dealt with in a better way.

    BTW, I don’t post anonymously.

  3. Insider as a person that is posting Anonymously as well, think of this in a way that is palatable to you. RWR started the education system on a downward spiral slippery slope. The children you teach today are a product of that generation of that day.

    With what you have stated is that children have a whole lot less preparation today than when you were in school. I wonder if both parents working and not having enough time to spend with the children created the situation of todays general greed and get ahead in anyway you can because I am not going to get caught and screw you if I do. I understand the mentality. Go to your first year of law school and you’ll see what I say does not ring true.

    Lastly, Meep, meep.

  4. Paully, thanks for your kind words. People find it so easy to be harsh in the anonymous realm of the Internet. This is a harsh crowd. I can only testify to the truth as it exists. Reasonable people–people I know and people I don’t know–with whom I’ve spoken since this whole thing blew up, understand that there is more to it than meets the eye.

    Everyone else who commented on my explanation: I cannot but explain myself as clearly as possible. I’m sorry that you do not want to hear a rational explanation. I’ve found that people who speak with such vitriol are people who do not understand anything but low level humor. Please do not lecture me on how to “handle a classroom” or assume that that must be the problem. I’ve taught for over a decade and managing a class of teenagers is an art that is learned and crafted over many many years. I’ve improved with each year, but gradually the students change and I have to re-learn again on the fly.

    In the last five or six years, I’ve noticed a shift in the kids that I teach. So many of them are coming to us with no sense of propriety and no sense of duty to themselves and to their community. I do NOT command respect from my students, I make an earnest attempt to EARN that respect by being fair to all, forgiving when needed, available to talk and counsel when they are facing rough patches in life (my classroom door is always open) and by showing them that I know my stuff. But more and more kids do not even give respect when respect is given. You can laugh all you want now, but next time you go to a restaurant and the waitress ignores you because she is fighting with her boyfriend via text message, next time you go to a mechanic and they screw you over for the bill when they realize you know nothing about cars, next time you go to get service in a store, or you are carrying a load of groceries and the young person in front of you allows the door to slam in your face, next time you are trying to pull out onto a roadway and nobody will wave you on, next time you are being mugged in broad daylight and nobody stops to help you, remember that as a society we reap what we sow. Proverbs 22:6 says: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

    It’s so easy to make anonymous jokes on the Internet about things you don’t understand. It is much harder to realize and admit when you are the fool. And I don’t expect that you will admit it. We are a nation of prideful arrogant people. It is sad.

    As for high school pranks. I’m a prankster myself… I WISH that the kids would do a greased pig prank on their last day. That’s funny (well, funny everyone but the pig), I get a kick out of goofy behavior at the right time, and I cannot stand when foolish rules are applied to a situation. I am the first to work with the administration change something what I believe that it is not good for the students or the school community as a whole. I UNDERSTAND kids. And the second that I stop understanding them, is the day I retire and do something EASY like working in the Business world.

    As for this situation: I can only offer my witness from my own experience IN DANVERS HIGH SCHOOL. I can only tell you what I am free to tell you, and if I could tell you more without breaking rules of privacy and protection for kids and adults alike, I would. But I can’t. Because, unlike the fools that started this thing, I am aware that there are boundaries, and that I AM free to tell all, but that it would be wrong to do so.

    And the silent majority of the students in Danvers High are embarrassed and angry that the “meepers” are out of control and have brought negative attention to our school. Our band is INCREDIBLE. They are going to march in the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena for the THIRD time in a decade. They have worked so hard for what they’ve achieved, and they are rightly upset that the news media does not give one fig of care for their hard work–and slacker meepers get all the attention. One of the band girls went up to one of the news bimbos and said to her “are you here for the meep thing?” and the news bimbo stopped brushing her hair and said “yes, I am, do you have something to say.” and the girl bravely replied “yeah. Our band is going to Pasadena to march in the Rose Bowl Parade for the third time and we are the only school in the state to do so ever.So why don’t you cover that instead?” And the bimbo laughed, turned her head and began fixing her make up for her “live shot.” So you tell me–who is the wise adult in this situation?

    As a side note:

    It’s funny. I just opened my electronic Bible for my Bible reading of the day. It was from Proverbs 9. If I’d have read this before my original post, perhaps I could have saved myself grief.
    6 Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live;
    learn to use good judgment.”

    7 Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return.
    Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt.
    8 So don’t bother correcting mockers;
    they will only hate you.
    But correct the wise,
    and they will love you.
    9 Instruct the wise,
    and they will be even wiser.
    Teach the righteous,
    and they will learn even more.

    Perhaps I am the fool for I should neither rebuke a mocker nor correct the wicked. Those who are wise will understand.

    Anyway, thanks for letting me say my piece. If I’ve reached one or two of you, I will not consider it a failure.

  5. BIL–

    I’m a retired teacher. I think former Meepers may be the best at adeptly handling Meepy, pre Meepy, and post Meepy situations in schools. It is best to understand the psychology of Meepers–in particular the Meepers who would incite gullible peers to commit collaborative Meeping.

    As to whether I’m a former Meeper, I’ll plead the Meepth like you.

  6. And although I missed it on my earlier read though,

    In Re “ple”

    Vince, that was awesome. I am compelled to ask if that was a Treacy original?

  7. 5. He has an AMAZING sense of humor.

    Like when he was such a baby that he had his sidekick, vice principal and little dictator in the making, Mark Strout, forward a very nonthreatening, even funny letter to the local police department for further investigation.

  8. Elaine M.,

    Meep, meep. Willie Coyote has gotten hit by another anvil. Meep, meep.

    Meep thinks you are correct.

  9. And to thank that greased pigs were not wanted loose in the Hi School I attended, but no one got hurt, kicked out or suspended. The Pigeons were another story. We did have to clean the school on that one. Oh well.

    Got Meep?

  10. Humorless.

    Gestapo.

    Half-wit.

    Franklin admonished that “[a]ny society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”

    I’m pretty sure Ben wouldn’t care what the motivation of a school official was in depriving others of their liberty whether the cause be altruism and love or (as it sounds like) humorless paranoia and stupidity in understanding human psychology. Again, if he was following my child’s off campus activities, no sh*t, I’d have him arrested for stalking: end of story. Again, his motivation for this inappropriate behavior is irrelevant. He can care all he likes. He can worship the students. This still makes him neither desirable nor competent to act in a supervisory capacity. It does not mitigate that Murray’s overreaction and busy body meddling will end up in the long run blowing up in his face. His feelings have nothing to do with it. His handling of the situation was poor no matter his motive. At best, he looks like he’s not up for the job, at worst, he looks like a paranoid. As a matter of basic principle, he basically shouldn’t be principal.

  11. Insider, Thanks for sharing the “inside story”.

    The principal sounds like a person that cares about the students.

  12. “Behind the “meep ban” is a much darker story. It’s not about meep, it’s about a host of disruptive actions,vulgar words, barnyard noises, and systematic harassment orchestrated to drive one person over the edge–and it’s about bringing down the learning environment at the same time.”

    Insider,
    Perhaps you are closer to the situation. Perhaps you work at the school, or are even related to the principal. I’m not impressed with your explanation and I’ll tell you why. The dumbest thing any person in authority can do is to issue edicts that appear silly on their face and to try to over exert control in a situation that doesn’t require it. Had the Principals E Mail to the parents specified the actual reason for his ban and made the argument why it was necessary, then i’m sure if the reason was plausible enough he would have had overwhelming support. He chose instead to send a message that opened more questions than it answered. This was dumb.

    Now if this was a form of harassment to drive one person over the edge, I would assume that person is either in the school administration or a teacher, the E mail should still have been up front about its’ purposes. The reason for that in my opinion is that if school personnel in a High School can be driven “over the edge” by students, then their ability to be in the job must be questioned. School personnel are adults, teenagers are still children despite their size and if you as an adult can’t handle children who I guess in this case may be ridiculing you, then you need another line of work. however, if the Principal wanted to show support for this person than bringing the situation out into the open would have shown the strongest type of support.

  13. Insider,

    Your hyperbolic comment brings the principal no relief. I’m sure the principal and his supporters can justify his actions by invoking sinister, dark forces that want to bring down the educational system, but when you’re in a hole, stop digging.

  14. Vince–

    I think it’s a psychological block for me. Since I’ve retired from teaching, I haven’t been able to use the correct homophone when writing about the leader of a school. Also, I never bought that bit about a principal being my pal.

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