A Dalston primary school has called in extra security ahead of Thursday’s World Book Day, after previous events led to violence and multiple fatalities.
‘We’re legally obliged to celebrate World Book Day,’ said one staff member at Our Lady of the Immaculate Cleavage Roman Catholic Primary School, ‘despite the fact that not one child has ever picked up a book as a result of it unless they were inclined to do so anyway.
‘But aside from the futility it’s the damn costume thing we dread the most. Two mothers are on tablets for stress and half the staff are threatening to call in sick unless the school can protect us from competitive parents.’
One parent recently released from jail after assaulting a dinner lady during last year’s event explained: ‘Look, it’s perfectly simple. It’s World Book Day, yeah? Book, okay? Not TV show; not superhero film; it’s not World Video Game Day, is it? No, it’s not, it’s World Book Day!
‘So how come my child arrives dressed as a very authentic Raskolnikov from Dostoevky’s Crime & Punishment – he’s got an axe, a Russian accent, a proletarian sense of grievance, the lot! – and a kid in a Batman costume from Primark wins the bloody contest? Eh? Tell me how that’s even possible!
‘And the year before that my two went as both the Brothers Karamazov – both of them! – only to be beaten by Peppa-bloody-Pig! And the year before that our Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were knocked into third place by SpongeBob SquarePants and a bleedin’ Power Ranger! Where’s the justice? What do these primary school teachers read during their 48-weeks of bloody paid holidays, eh? I didn’t get a second class degree in English Literature from Northampton Polytechnic to see my kid’s Anna Karenina humiliated by Scooby-frigging-Doo, did I?! No! No I did not, mate!’
The cost of staging the event is also causing concern among staff members after one child, channelling the spirit of Guy Montag from Farenheit 451, burned all the books in the junior library. Even the school’s most spirited advocates of World Book Day had to admit that was a bit counter-productive.