April 2004 (v6 i5)
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Louis Vuitton purses now affordable for teachers
Wealthy middle schoolers protest
by Leala Ansari and Jill Morris, Administrative Assistants

UPPER DARBY, PA — Math teacher Shelia Fitch brought nearly 30 fake Louis Vuitton hand bags, purchased on her annual Cancun spring break trip, to the staff of Hemmingway Middle School last week - earning Fitch half a year's salary in only five days.

"I was a little nervous about trying to be both an entrepreneur and a teacher. I hadn't done anything risky since I'd dressed up as an imaginary number at the annual PTA Halloween party four years ago," Fitch said. "But I remembered my favorite inspirational classroom poster. It's a picture of the cutest little puppy on roller-skates, blindfolded with a red bandana, crossing an 8-lane highway. The caption reads, 'Go for it!'"

Fitch gleefully added: "So that's exactly what I did!"

However, the proliferation of affordable Louis Vuitton bags has caused a backlash among the group of 11- to 13-year-olds, comprised of eight girls and one boy, who own authentic Louis Vuitton bags.

"At first we all thought Mrs. Fitch and the others had all turned totally cool," said Fashion Club President Chrissy Walsh. "I mean for Mrs. Fitch to afford all those bags, she must have given up, like, food, or back-to-school clothes or something, you know? But then we found out that those bags are about as real as my stepmom's nose."

Overwhelmed with emotion, Walsh paused before continuing: "Like, first of all, on those bags, the L is totally on top of the V, and anybody who's anybody's anybody knows that is way wrong. Ugh! You know, just because I can't figure out who's the tallest if Jimmy is shorter than Johnny, and Johnny is taller than Mary, and Mary is Jimmy's aunt, doesn't mean I can't recognize bogus fashion from, you know, really far away."

Since the girls discovered Fitch's ruse several days ago, they have aired their resentment in several incidents of protest.

Last week, Mrs. Fitch pulled down her U.S. map only to find an enlarged yearbook photo of herself marred by red devil horns, a Hitler-style mustache and a thought bubble bearing the message "I suck" - all of which was hastily scrawled in "Berry Reliable" Revlon Colorstay lipstick.

Other reports outline mass pencil-ruler helicopter rallies and frog-in-purse warfare. Due to past chalk-hiding problems, Hemmingway teachers realize that their chalk supply is in great danger of disappearing. Rumors of another "chalk-out" prompted an emergency PTA meeting yesterday.

Among the crowd of parents and students was Diana Walsh, the Fashion Club president's mother.

"As a Hemmingway alumnus, I have not forgotten the teacher's fake Dooney and Burke scandal of '83," Walsh said. "I won't have my daughter spending her formative years in fashion h-e-double-hockey-sticks like I did. My little Princess Cupcake Face deserves better."

In response to yesterday's meeting, the PTA raised the issue with the district's superintendent, just as the Fashion Club raised the threat level to Code Tangerine. Though the higher authorities are dealing with the issue, members of the fashion club are still experiencing extreme anxiety.

"I didn't make my daddy pay $700 for this original so that some underpaid teacher could look as cool as me," said seventh-grader Alicia Wooton. "You have no clue what kind of chores I had to do to earn my purse. And there's no way I'm taking out the trash a second time just so I can keep my popularity. Ew. That's what we pay the maid for." Counseling will be offered to those in need.
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