|Bert from Sesame Street would not do well in the Northern Lebanon School|
District in Pennsylvania.
Students there are required to smile at all times while in the hallways between classes, or else they get in trouble. If they don't, they must go to the guidance counselor to discuss their "problems" or get detention.
So you're not allowed in the school to show any normal emotion other than benign (fake) happiness.
No anxiety over an upcoming tough test. No thoughtful contemplation over which colleges to apply. No anger or grief over the latest school shooting elsewhere in the nation. No thoughts of regrets over the argument with Dad this morning over smart phone use.
Any normal thing like that is grounds for counseling or detention. It's just bizarre.
Meanwhile, according to the Lebanon Daily News in Pennsylvania, some parents are complaining that bullying incidents are being ignored by administrators. My guess is because the school district has some obsession with turning the school into some Stepford Wives perfect world.
Several teachers told the Lebanon Daily News said the smiling thing isn't a written rule in the school, Assistant Principal Benjamin Wenger has been enforcing this smiling "regulation." I guess the fake smiling is more important than dealing with the real bullying in this school district.
After the "forced smiles" article came out, North Lebanon School District Superintendent Erik Bentzel denied that there is a "must smile" rule, but I suspect that's PR in the wake of the embarrassing news coverage.
So, if you ever go to this school for a visit, smile! You're on Orwellian camera!