From the pages of
The Sublette County Journal
Volume 4, Number 24 - 2/10/00
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

No Pokemon in School!
Pinedale Elementary School asks parents for their help
by Jennifer Binning

On Friday, January 21, the Pinedale Elementary School sent home a weekly newsletter containing a plea to parents: please keep your childrens' Pokemon toys at home!

According to Principal Pat Morgan, Pokemon toys and all the accessories are becoming a nuisance at school. Children would rather trade Pokemon cards than eat their meal during lunch, and they sit and play with their toys during recess, rather than burning off some of their pent-up energy playing soccer or swinging on the jungle gym.

Mrs. Morgan also noted that the children are more prone to argue over their Pokemon toys as well. "We are just asking that parents encourage their children leave the Pokemon stuff at home," she said "It really does not belong in school."

The principal of the Big Piney Elementary school, Chris Meiring, said the policy in her district is no toys allowed. Period. This helps keep the problems to a minimum, she says. The kids still wear Pokemon T-shirts, shoes, jackets, and have the obligatory lunch boxes and backpacks, but that type of thing really does not cause a problem.

Mrs. Morgan said that the problem is seen mainly in the younger grades, kindergarten through second grade. In a follow up newsletter, the principal thanked the parents who were working to keep Pokemon out of the school.

Sublette County is by no means the only area affected by the Pokemon craze. According to an Associated Press article appearing in the Topeka Capitol-Journal last year, Pokemon has been a growing problem since they first arrived in the United States in August 1998.

Principals in elementary schools throughout the nation have been banning anything Pokemon ever since. According to one principal, the children were losing the cards at school and becoming very upset. One seven year old stopped bringing his cards because "someone was stealing them!" he said with eyes wide.

A quick search of the Internet yielded thousands of web sites devoted to Pokemon, and included links to many anti-Pokemon sites.

One of the anti-Pokemon sites was devoted to inciting a mass Pokemon boycott, listing 11 "facts" of the Pokemon craze. These apparent facts run from the mundane (Pokemon teaches children to gamble) and bizarre (Pokemon cartoon causes epilepsy) to the terrifying (Teenager stabs another over stolen Pokemon cards). Unfortunately, only a few of the web links were still up and running, so the "facts" listed on the web site were unverifiable.

Besides the expected anti-Pokemon sentiment on these sites, some have "kill the Pikachu" games and message boards devoted to Pokemon bashing. Some even go as far as to suggest Pokemon bonfires in order to protest the fuzzy Japanese cartoon characters.

Whatever the immediate uproar may be, one thing parents know, and history upholds, is that the Pokemon furor will ultimately quiet to a low, easy to contain rumble.

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Copyright © 1999 The Sublette County Journal
All rights reserved. Reproduction by any means must have permission of the Publisher.
The Sublette County Journal, PO Box 3010, Pinedale, WY 82941   Phone 307-367-3713
Publisher/Editor: Rob Shaul