Woodstock – Calling the new name a “gross representation of existential reality,” two ex-teachers are upset over the Department of Education’s decision to call a school Jean-Paul Sartre High.
The school, which will be the sole high school in Woodstock beginning in the fall of 2015, does not offer a single course in existentialism, and education officials refuse to explain the reasoning behind the surprising choice.
“A main proposition of existentialism is that existence precedes essence,” said an irate Tom Landry, former high school art teacher. “As far as we know, most of these young people believe exactly the opposite. So why is the school being named after a noted existentialist?”
“It’s not even a French school,” added Rick Veno, another jilted ex-teacher, who was fired from his post as literature instructor after the principal caught him teaching Nietzsche’s The Will to Power to his impressionable young students. “Why the heck would it be given a French guy’s name? And if they’re so hell-bent on honouring an existentialist, why wouldn’t they choose a more impressive one like Heidegger or Kierkegaard? It’s ridiculous.”
Some of the school’s feminists are upset that the school is being named after a man. “Why is it always Sartre? In my opinion, Simone de Beauvoir was the backbone of Parisian 20th-century existential thought,” said Grade 11 student Sarah Palmer. “She really ushered in a new kind of social theory. I mean, in The Second Sex, she argued that men made women the ‘Other’ in society by creating a false sense of ‘mystery’ around them. Well, the education officials are really just proving her theory with this stupid new name. Who cares about Sartre anymore?”
Education Minister Serge Rousselle, who chose the name for the school, was unavailable to speak to The Manatee about why the name had been selected. In fact, our reporter could not confirm whether he even exists.