Talk about a mixed message. Last month, when students at Ludlam Elementary were asked to raise money for their school's new music department, they were offered an incentive: Pokémon cards, the current absolute, most necessary must-have. But tacked on to a flyer distributed by Parent, Teacher, & Student Association president Alma Morse was a buzz-killing warning: "Please remember that Pokémon cards may not be brought back to the school."
It's true. So says no less an authority than Miami-Dade County Public Schools Deputy superintendent Henry Fraind: Pokémon is as welcome as a sixteen-year-old boy in a black trench coat. "We don't allow it in our school system," Fraind says of the card game, which features menacing characters such as Pikachu, Ash, and Wigglytuff. "We don't allow it. It's not of any educational value. We have an acceptable-use policy, [and] that does not meet the criteria. Anyone that [sic] has it, we just confiscate it. We give it back to the child at the end of the day to take home to their [sic] parents. Again, we don't accept nor [sic] allow it in our school system when it comes to Pokémon. I believe there was another game awhile back, maybe Doom and Gloom, something to that effect. It was a very violent game. We didn't allow that either."
Not of any value? Acceptable-use policy? Confiscations? Who would have guessed the school district had the time and resources to monitor such things? A close look at some of the 150 Pokémon monsters reveals a more credible explanation for sensitive administrators' rejection of the game.
Detectorbuzz Flavor Text: Formerly Perimeteron. Created when a metal-detector-loving school board member is arrested at MIA trying to carry two loaded handguns on to an airplane. Attack Mode: One Colt .38-caliber revolver, one North American Arms .22-caliber nickel-plated minirevolver
Evolves into: Martialdude
Harassh Flavor Text: Formerly Principalder. Created when a former high school principal is found guilty of sexual harassment. Still employed by school district, even after payment of settlements totaling more than one million dollars.
Attack Mode: Waving a wad of $100 bills
Evolves into: Hubba-hubbasaurus
Cafeteriadactyl Flavor Text: Formerly Pollotropicalo. Created after school board bans students from leaving campus for lunch, even though cafeterias can't possibly prepare and serve 350,000 square pizzas each day.
Attack Mode: Flying Tater Tots
Evolves Into: Hungerpango
Studyfree Flavor Text: Formerly Peon. Created after school administrators purchase salary-boosting advanced academic degrees from a diploma mill.
Attack Mode: A number-two pencil and a Visa card
Evolves into: Dr. Defensive
Professor No-show Flavor Text: Formerly Frederica. Created when a political animal boldly demands and receives a fat
school-district salary for working less than half a year.
Attack Mode: Perception of clout
Evolves into: Legisluna
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Powderpuff Flavor Text: Formerly Inarticulono. Created when a student athlete wins a dubious report-card upgrade in order to play football.
Attack Mode: Backspace key
Evolves into: No-joby