Middle School Admission Priorities Escalate Tensions Between Stapleton and Park Hill

middle-school-warsAmid concern that tensions over McAuliffe International School admission priorities could escalate into a wider conflict, Park Hill community leaders insisted Monday that their neighborhood’s uranium enrichment program is for peaceful purposes only. “We are not building a nuclear bomb,” said Jon Mason, president of the Greater Park Hill Community Association. “We just want an independent power source in case the Xcel grid goes down for some reason. Like, say, if it gets overloaded with ‘smug’ from all the solar panels in Stapleton.” Experts fear, however, that Park Hill’s nuclear ambitions could trigger an arms race, with Stapleton seeking to build a bomb next, followed perhaps by Lowry, Montclair and Hale. Foreign relations expert Dr. Kyle Trask says he has seen this pattern before. “This is why globally have the mess we have,” says Trask. “India gets nukes, then Pakistan gets them, and before that it was the Soviet Union and China. The pattern is just on a smaller scale, and in this case, neighboring communities.”

Recent conversations on Nextdoor have fueled worries about Park Hill’s possible ulterior motives. For instance, Park Hill resident Janet Kamienski, whose fifth-grader was unable to get into McAuliffe despite living two blocks away from the school, posted over the weekend that “those Stapleton schmucks won’t feel so superior when we have nuclear missiles pointed at their precious airport tower.”  The Greater Park Hill News also raised eyebrows with its most recent issue, which featured an “open letter to Stapleton” that described Stapleton residents as “savages” and “Smiley-stealing devils” and referenced the “drums of war.”

Rumors have also been circulating about Park Hill residents allegedly sending “measles blankets” to Stapleton families with unvaccinated fourth- and fifth-graders, but those claims have thus far proven impossible to confirm.

One thing is clear, however: Stapleton’s once squabbling neighborhoods, who not long ago were on the brink of civil war over elementary school preferences, have united decisively against the common enemy on the other side of Quebec Street.

“Those Park Hill ingrates have got a lot of nerve,” said Stapleton resident Chris McFarlane, who has a seventh-grade daughter at McAuliffe and a fifth-grade son set to join her in the fall. “They were all sending their kids to private schools, instead of Smiley, until DPS opened the boundary and moved Stapleton’s best middle school onto Smiley’s campus. Now they want to kick the Stapleton kids out, because suddenly they care about the sanctity of ‘neighborhood schools.’ Are you freakin’ kidding me?”

Jill Crowley, whose fifth-grader received her first choice of McAuliffe for next school year, agreed. “Within the space of nine months, they’ve gone from stealing our school to claiming that we stole their school,” she said. “It’s insane. And now with this nuclear program – just you watch. They’ll nuke Stapleton and then blame us when the fallout crosses Quebec.”

At press time, Forest City could not be reached for comment on reports that it is building a secret, nuke-proof underground bunker below the future King Soopers parking lot in Eastbridge.

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