AUGUSTA – Education Commissioner Steven Bowen introduced his first major policy initiative today, a joint effort with the Department of Transportation to ensure that all Maine road signs feature graffiti already drawn on them.
“The less time Maine teenagers spend spray painting penises onto deer-crossing signs, the more time they will have available to study,” reasoned Bowen, rolling out details of the plan at a press conference yesterday. “We want to be pro-active, not reactive.”
Transportation officials said replacing all road signs immediately would strain the budget, so the policy will apply only to new or replacement signs from now on.
“Stop signs will create the largest expense, because we have to commission a study to determine all the things modern-day teenagers want to stop,” said DOT Commissioner David Bernhardt. “So far we’ve got ‘war’ and ‘snitches’ on the list, but there may be other things.”
He also stressed the importance of making sure deer penises were large enough; otherwise, teens will just go around making them bigger.
Teachers unions typically strive to block any progress in public education, and, not surprisingly, this is no exception.
“What are we going to do next, give them desks with phone numbers already carved into them?” asked Chris Galgay, President of the Maine Education Association. “As if they won’t just find someplace else to apply spray paint. If it’s not on road signs, it’s on bridge embankments, or whatever.”
Mark Hebert, an art teacher at Freeport High School, attended yesterday’s press conference. He held a sign that read, “Don’t Silence Our Kids.”
Hebert explained, “the last thing we want is for our kids to be doing less art and less writing. And that is exactly what this policy is all about. For some of my students, ‘Stop Snitches’ is the longest sentence they’ll write in high school.”