Park Hill Militia Occupies Smiley Building

militia occupying smiley campusFollowing a recent meeting about the expansion plans of McAuliffe Middle School on the Smiley campus, members of the loosely organized Park Hill Militia (PHM) began an occupation of the Smiley building in order to “reclaim our school,” according to PHM spokesperson Ammon Harney.

PHM had planted several followers at the meeting who were able to disrupt a formal presentation about McAuliffe’s expansion plans with repeated expressions of disgruntlement regarding having to share the middle school with residents of nearby Stapleton. However, McAuliffe principal Peter Ackman, with his signature calm demeanor, handled the many irrelevant questions with aplomb, pointing out, for example, that 82% of Park Hill residents had opted out of the neighborhood middle school when it had been exclusively theirs. After the near capacity crowd in the Smiley auditorium applauded Mr. Ackman’s fourth successful foil of PHM’s cantankerous campaign to take over the expansion meeting with their own agenda, militia members became determined to take action. Arriving the next morning, armed with an array of weapons that included ski poles, pinata bats, and nerf guns, the protesters blocked all entrances to the Smiley building with Priuses as they loaded in cases of Door-to-Door Organic produce boxes.

“This school rightfully belongs to the people of Park Hill, and it just isn’t fair for big-government DPS and all those Stapleton bougies to keep the people out. We are going to occupy the Smiley building until DPS guarantees that every Park Hill student who wants to go to this school can go,” said Harney, “We want a neighborhood school!” Unfortunately, McAuliffe has been shuttered now for six days during the stand-off, preventing Park Hill and Stapleton students alike from attending. Mr. Harney, a heavily bearded man, indicated that he and his fellow militia members are prepared to occupy the building “for years” and that supporters could send them snacks and energy drinks, “especially Kombucha, artisanal goat cheeses, any sort of locally fermented products, and whatever fair trade chocolate Marczyk’s is selling near the register.”

While Mr. Ackman had no comment on the matter, an unidentified DPS official noted that they are considering several options. One possibility is moving the McAuliffe school to a new building in north Stapleton (an area inaccessible to Park Hill, according to PHM), where demand is growing fastest. This would allow Park Hill neighbors the opportunity to build a school (“Super Smiley”) in the Smiley building that better reflects neighborhood needs, including classes in weaving, animal husbandry, and tie dye. As part of this plan, Park Hill would be allowed out of the Stapleton middle school zone, which includes the science-oriented DSST Stapleton, Colorado’s top-rated middle-high school. Such a proposal would meet PHM demands while allowing DPS to successfully serve the growing middle school population in Stapleton, according to the unnamed source.

Follow the Park Hill Militia’s continuing struggle on Twitter: #ParkHillUnderAttack #DownWithSchoolChoice #PostmatesDeliverstoSmiley #MoreKombuchaNow

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