MEEP – M33P is teh L33T!

meep

BANNED in Danvers, Massachusetts (Well, at Danvers High School)

Today, I was at the Children’s museum in San Diego, and I scrawled MEEP on the chalkboard. You know why? Because it’s my goddamned right to do so, and because Danvers High School is run by asshats.

Apparently, students at Danvers High, in Massachusetts, have adopted a little meme of using the word “meep” as a catch-all / one-word-sentence. This is just one of those things that teenagers do. This is one of the things that makes teenagers awesome. They come up with goofy antics that make us shake our heads, it makes them laugh, we move on.

Well… that is…. unless we’re asshats. Then, it just steams us up that the kids don’t respect our authoritah.

Danvers High Principal Murray decided that he had heard enough meeping. He had a robo-call placed to all the students’ homes, instructing them that anyone using the word “meep” at Danvers High would face suspension.

“It’s really not about the word in particular,” Murray said. “The reason for the message (was) a group of students were instructed to refrain from that language and other language in a particular part of the building.”

Murray gave students “a reasonable request” not to use the word to disrupt school in a hallway, and to stop other behaviors, but they did not listen, Murray said.

“Students were not going along with the direction or refraining from a particular type of language,” he said. (source)

They did not listen! You hear that? They disrespected his authoritah! They must be punished!

A lot of people emailed me the Salem Daily News story on the principal’s stupid maneuver — asking if it was a First Amendment issue. It might be. It might not be. But, I just laughed it off – and laughed thinking about how his attempt to squash the use of the word “meep,” was going to ensure that it became a huge phenomenon. I wasn’t even going to bother slamming Danvers High, or any of the dipshits who run the place.

But then this happened.

Attorney Theodora Michaels thought that Danvers High’s attempts were stupid. She wrote “It’s been a long time since I was in high school, but I still remember what it was like to be young, and chafing under what seemed like arbitrary and capricious rules set down by school authorities.” (source). I know what she means. A lot of wonderful people shepherded me along the road to becoming a First Amendment attorney, but if I were to really bestow thanks upon someone for my current happiness in life, it would have to be some of the authority-abusing douchebags I encountered as a teenager.

But back to Ms. Michaels.

She wrote an email to Principal Murray of Danvers High school. It had one line. One word.

Meep.

That’s it. That was the subject line. That was the body of the email.

Meep.

She got a reply. Assistant Principal Mark Strout wrote “Your E-mail has been forwarded to the Danvers Police Department.

Srsly?

Cartman-Cop1

You will not say MEEP in this hyah school!

Okay, look… Danvers High Administration: (not that you’ll listen to me) The first step in getting out of a hole is to STOP DIGGING. It was a dumb move in the first place, but dumb moves by dumb school administrators are all part of life. But you sent an email that said MEEP to the police department? And then you actually thought that an attorney would be somehow moved by this idiotic display?

Smooth move, Ex-Lax!

It looks like this dumbass sent at least five emails to the POLICE! Overreaction #1 – the dumb decision to attempt to ban a word at school. Overreaction #2 – going all meeping crybaby when he gets ridiculed for it.

Here is the email address for Danvers High Principal Thomas Murray
(murray@danvers.org )
Here is the email address for Danvers High Assistant Principal Mark Strout
( strout@danvers.org )

Part of me wanted to use these email addresses to just send my own MEEP email. But, instead, I think that I am going to thank these two clowns. Thank them because the First Amendment needs protection against clowns who are much more powerful than some vice principal in a high school. Without asshats like these guys, their students might never have begun thinking about how some people, drunk with a thimbleful of power, will abuse their position. Their students might have failed to question whether those who are “in charge” really belong there. Their students might have graduated from Danvers High without a deep curiosity about their Constitutional rights. When teenagers realize that some idiot has just imposed a rule upon them for an arbitrary and foolish reason, they start reading books about the Constitution. They start learning names like “Lenny Bruce” and “George Carlin” and “Larry Flynt.” They start to chafe. They start to think.

The seeds of adult dissent are planted like this every day.

So, thank you Thomas Murray and Mark Strout. By being shitheads, you have likely ensured that at least one of your students will write his law school admission essay about his experience at Danvers High during the great meep controversy of 2009. Maybe that kid will have a healthy dose of skepticism, smart ass attitude, and he’ll be quite a bit smarter than a flunky like you. And maybe that kid will become a First Amendment attorney and smack down bigger fish than you for a living.

I look forward to seeing that kid join the ranks.

Meep this, you pricks.

29 Responses to MEEP – M33P is teh L33T!

  1. re-meeped this tonight. Then I e-meeped those idjits at Danvers high.

  2. How can these people be trusted to run a school? They should have tests for this.

  3. Halcyon 1L says:

    I used to try to understand “the mind of a school Administrator.” I now believe that to be an oxymoron.

  4. jfischer1975 says:

    Heard in my house last night:
    Becky: what’s “m-e-e-p” mean?
    Jason: in what context?
    Becky: I don’t know. Randazza just posted a pic of it written on a chalkboard on Facebook.
    Jason: JFGI

  5. jfischer1975 says:

    Heard in my house last night:
    Becky: what’s “m-e-e-p” mean?
    Jason: in what context?
    Becky: I don’t know. Randazza just posted a pic of it written on a chalkboard on Facebook.
    Jason: JFGI

  6. von snark says:

    In our junior year of high school a good friend of mine and I created T-shirts featuring the tongue and lips logo of the Rolling Stones with the letters SOMF below it. We wore these shirts to school one day and started a wave of SOMF.

    Given the context of the logo it wasn’t too hard to figure out the meaning of SOMF but it could have meant anything. That didn’t stop our principal from calling us both in and questioning us separately, threatening to expel us for our profanity but we just played dumb and he had nothing on us and that was the end of it.

  7. Jay says:

    MEEP.

    This is the sound one of my cats make — a squeaky, high-pitched meow. Meep. My wife and I have been using it for at least six years. Good to know that it’s a meme elsewhere in the world.

    Well, I suppose I’ve got two e-mails to write tonight. :)

  8. mc says:

    Well, this is disturbing. My husband and I happen to have MEEP engraved inside our wedding rings. It’s a nonsense word that we made up and started saying to each other around 1987 and when we finally got legally hitched in 1994, we had it put on the rings. We thought we were being all original till we heard that the word was used by sci-fi geeks and also by various other cutesy couples addressing each other. I will take credit for devising the word “MEEPAGE” to describe the act of meeping copiously. To discover all these years that we’ve apparently been committing some sort of arrestable offense or that we might become First Amendment martyrs is truly shocking. We and our tourist dollars will certainly avoid Danvers from here on out. This story further serves to confirm my longstanding feeling that high school is a complete waste od everyone’s time and the kids would be better off just being sent to the library, or the Barnes and Noble, to read books all day.

  9. MarK Alan Miller says:

    Certain fish characters on Spongebob (throgh me 3 year old I have had the true pleasure of appreciating) simply only say ‘Meep’.

    Meep,
    Mark

  10. Halcyon 1L says:

    The best line I saw was: “The meep shall inherit the Earth.”

  11. I had to pop in again.

    Pardon my law student ignorance, but when you say “it might not be” a First Amendment issue, what do you mean?

    • Students’ First Amendment rights are heavily curtailed. Flip through my Student Speech postings.

      I would imagine that if the students tried to sue the school for infringing on their First Amendment rights, they *could* prevail, but it would not be a simple case.

  12. kc says:

    Beeker from the Muppets always says MEEP – in fact, I think that’s the only word he can say. There’s also a MEEP MEEP song that probably would have made that principal’s head explode – someone needs to send him this YouTube video:

  13. MarK Alan Miller says:

    Wow, sorry for the typos above. iPhone dexterity sometimes lacks…

  14. Todd Brown says:

    This is a great post, which I’ve come to expect from your blog. I am not a first amendment expert, but I owe much of my own skepticism of authority and certain self-serving claims that pass as conventional wisdom to encounters with “authority-abusing douchebags” as a teen.

    As an aside, “Meep” was also a character on a Phineas & Ferb episode.

  15. Dan Steinberg says:

    I cant wait for the meepeor shower scheduled for tomorrow

  16. G Thompson says:

    According to the Urban Dictionary (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=meep) Meep has been in their database since early 2003.
    In fact there is supposedly (and the Interwebs are never wrong) a Religious sect/cult/taxdodge called “The Followers of Meep” [ http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Followers%20of%20the%20Meep ]. Does the Danvers High School principal realise he is annoying a diety that can deliver the torment of a thousand jellyfish stings.

  17. Victoria V says:

    Meeple for the people

  18. TomMil says:

    It’s got a Free Exercise element to it now.

  19. ES says:

    What’s your take on the Supreme Guardian Council of Vice and Virtue of the Catholic Church (formerly the supreme court)not granting cert on the valedictorian dead mic case out of… uhh Nevada? 9th Cir. upheld the lower court who ruled that it was proselytizing, not protected, etc etc.

  20. Corey Carpenter says:

    Things like this is why one day, I want to do pro bono work for high school students on First Amendment rights….I dealt with it myself, and it is scary how much power a simple administrator wields over students when they can give them punishments that affect their grades, and even possibly their further educational opportunities, on what amounts to a whim.

  21. Anthony says:

    When I was young, I was an aid at a school for emotionally disturbed/developmentally disabled kids in NY. The kids were banned from saying “your mother” so they started saying “YM.” When YM was banned, they just nodded at each other to signify “your mother.”

    Soon, kids were getting into fights for nodding–even when their nod was just an expression in the affirmation rather than an insult. Fights broke out so often that they actually had to lift the ban on saying “your mother.”

    True story.

  22. Seano says:

    Love this post. Love the 1st Amendment. Meeped the principal. Now back to 2L misery. Thanks for a brief shining moment of joy.

  23. D.Pasquarelli says:

    Man they really are a couple of insecure, petty little menbut at least their douchebaggery will raise some eyebrows and make people think. We did sooo much worse in school and got a stern talking too… were some of our adminstrators smarter, cooler, or more reasonable or did they see the glimmer of promise in your future Randazza? I couldn’t have been me, I’m still unsuccessfull but I still hate all authority and most people.

  24. Frances says:

    I think I just lost 5 IQ points. I thought “Bong Hits for Jesus” was a stretch of boneheaded school administrator authority, but I’d love to see the legal argument justifying the meep ban because it promotes … what? noogies? worshipping Jonas Brothers? regrettable hairstyles?

    My 14 year old is now making her hamburger say “meep” to me. When will this insanity end?

  25. STM says:

    The Roadrunner says, “Find your own word, Beaker, I’m walkin’ this side of the meep.”

    MEEP MEEP! PTANG!

  26. Victoria Beckham…

    “We’re happy to have such a talented and eclectic group of celebrities lend their voices to this SpongeBob special,” said Brown Johnson, President, Animation, Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids and Family Group. “Victoria, John and Sebastian truly brought Bikin…

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