It’s a great tradition that, I’m sure, builds self-esteem and reinforces positive behaviours. “Two pupils from class one and two are pulled out of the hat each week to be a VIP,” says Chris Thompson, acting headteacher of Hallbankgate Village School in Northern England. The students “can wear their own clothes, are introduced to visitors to the school, and they are entitled to bring in their most precious possession.”
Sometimes, though, well-intentioned policies such as this can really come back to bite you. Consider Thomas Bell. When he was chosen, he decided to bring his most prized possession, a pet named Hallbankgate Dragon to share with his mates. It turns out that Dragon is a load of bull. Literally. Hallbankgate Dragon is a Charolais Bull, weighing in at 900kg — nearly a ton of beef.
His teacher was a good sport about it; Dragon wouldn’t fit in the classroom, so the kids went out to see him on the village green. Thomas’ mother noted that “the school secretary said normally they issue consent forms to leave the school premises and struggle to get them back, but this time they had all the forms in straight away.”
Lest you worry about the safety of the other students, know that young Thomas has already considered that. “I thought about bringing in Tilly, our puppy,” he said, “but it would have tried to bite everyone and the bull was safer.” Personally, I think this is pretty darn cool and wish someone I went to school with had brought in a beast like that.
Photo: Uncle Roger