BUCKSBAUM - The following is a guest article written by a visiting scholar and professional investigative reporter who has had a prominent career as the 2 a.m. news reporter on NPR for over fifteen years, and has gone to such lengths as following a herd of deer for two weeks and becoming fluent in Esperanto in order to obtain stories.
The world-renowned Grinnell phenomenon that is Neverland has always been accepted as fun, family-friendly collaboration between college students and elementary school children. But does its friendly façade hide something something more sinister? Can a group really be that enthusiastic without a terrible price?
Playgoers all report that Neverland is a “thoroughly enjoyable experience where everyone wins”, but are they blissfully unaware of what might go one behind the curtains? I am speaking of course about possible questionable tactics used in order to force the young children into producing scripts for the play.
According to Peter Pan, a Neverland actor whose name has been changed for protection, “Sometimes I look at the faces of those kids, and it scares me. Sure, a lot of time all the kids are smiling. But not always, and I start to wonder, are they actually just having a bad day at school, or have they just been forced to spend three hours writing a whimsical story about talking potatoes?”
Other concerned Grinnellians may have also wondered, “How can I know that these children are not being inhumanely treated?” or, as is natural to ask, “What reassurances am I getting that the methods employed by the Neverland players abide by the rules set forth in the Geneva Conventions?”
To try to answer these troublesome questions I reached out to Director of Neverland Robert Rose.
Said Rose, “That’s ridiculous. Of course we aren’t violating the Geneva Conventions. Why are you wasting my time? It’s fucking midsems.”
While Rose wholeheartedly denied the allegations, while also reminding me of information I had been trying to forget, he failed to provide any proof whatsoever to substantiate his claim.
Looking elsewhere for answers, I tried to question president Kington, who completely refused to give any time to answer to our hard-hitting inquiry, which begs the question: “Does this go higher than we had previously thought?”
All the highers- up were covering their asses, so I decided to go in for some undercover reporting. Donning my old elementary school uniform, I infiltrated the third grade class at Davis Elementary, hoping to gain an inside look on the circumstances the children faced. After a grueling writing process with hours of work and dozens of revisions I had finally created a script that would be submitted for approval to the Neverland staff.
After they reviewed my script it was decided that I must be enrolled in a remedial writing course because I was far below a third grade writing level. I now realize, of course, that they used this tactic because they sensed I might be an adult disguised as a third grader with the intent of uncovering a massive child labor scheme. The remedial writing course as merely an attempt to distract me from the real problem.
Although none of my investigation managed to identify the questionable tactics possibly being employed, it did make one thing certain: if my determined efforts weren’t enough uncover any inhumane methods used, how badly do they want it hidden?