Satire: 2024? It’s More Like 1984

Pali Princical Dr. Pam Magee informed the community of the school’s proposed one-to-one Device Program on May 12, 2023. The program, scheduled for the 2023-24 academic year, will provide school-owned devices to all members of the student population, in order to better support Pali’s technologically-modern educational program. 

Although Magee’s announcement stated that “making this investment now is the best way to continue ensuring the highest quality of education to prepare our students for their futures,” some students are questioning the underlying motives behind this decision. 

Pali’s Conspiracists Anonymous Club (CAC), an off-the-grid group of alternative theorists, whose members only are identified by chemical symbols, believe that they have the answer. 

“You have to ask yourself, what’s really driving the one-to-one Device Program — why is Pali investing in this program now?” said Be, President of the club. “Most students have their own devices and prefer using them over whatever B-rate piece of metal the school is going to dole out. If we’re talking about making investments, have you seen the state our bathrooms are in?”

“It’s straight-up surveillance,” W, the club’s senior conspiracist, added, refreshing his TikTok feed. “The whole thing is inspired by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). It’s Pali’s version of Sharp Eyes — you know, China’s nationwide surveillance system. The school’s using equity as an excuse to lure us into giving up our freedoms. Something’s up. Beware. Come fall, Dewey Dolphin will be watching us all.”

According to the LA Times, China’s 1.4 billion citizens live under the watchful gaze of over 500 million technologically advanced security cameras capable of recognizing faces and walking styles. In recent years, the CCP has extended digital surveillance to China’s educational system. According to popular news agency Reuters, educational institutions like Hangzhou No. 11 Middle School are increasingly relying on “smart classroom behavior management systems” to analyze student’s facial and body language to ensure they’re actively engaged with their lessons.

“Pali’s gone completely fascist on us,” said Ar, CAC’s data analyst. “Mark my words, those devices will be outfitted with advanced surveillance tools. Those communist computers are going to track us at school and at home as well. They’re totally one-upping the CCP by installing surveillance systems directly into our laptops. Just watch: They’ll pile on the homework then sit back and spy, knowing full well we’ll have no choice but to be glued to those devices.”

According to Re, CAC’s chief technologist, “the data collected will not only be shared with parents and teachers, but with colleges as well. The goal is to ensure elite universities have a comprehensive view into prospective students.”

“The program is all about high-tech intelligence gathering,” added P, one of CAC’s spokespeople. “They’ll be watching and listening to you through your device — essentially 24/7 monitoring of students. Read the Terms & Agreements, people!”

“Everything from eye movements, facial expressions, emotions…even the slightest slumping of your shoulders will be tracked and stored,” said an anonymous inside source heavily painted in CV Dazzle’s anti-surveillance makeup. “It’s a total invasion of privacy. Harvard will literally know what you ate for breakfast at 6:23 a.m. on a Tuesday morning.”

News of the program’s ulterior motive has caused panic among some of Pali’s novice conspiracists.

“I’m so confused right now,” said Al, one of CAC’s newest members. “The government is telling us not to use TikTok because it’s a Chinese intelligence tool. But we’re supposed to accept school-issued tracking devices? This reeks of totalitarian policies. Next thing you know, someone out there’s going to want to control our ovaries.”

According to ABC News, the CCP has instituted smart uniforms in 11 schools. These tracksuits are microchipped with unique student ID numbers and communicate with facial recognition software located at the school’s entrance. This ensures effective monitoring a student’s every movement. “Spying laptops! What’s next? School-issued ankle monitors? Thought police? A picture of Xi Jinping in every classroom?” fumed I, CAC’s expert in encrypted messages and extraterrestrial communications. “I suggest you think twice about running off to the Village the next time you’re asked to run the mile. With the one-to-one device program slated for fall, you can bet GPS-tracking PE uniforms will be just around the corner!”