This is satire. Please take it in the humorous spirit in which it is written.
Both houses of the North Carolina legislature rushed into late night session to pass legislation outlawing elitism in North Carolina and Governor Pat McCrory signed it this morning saying, "This is an important law to protect average North Carolinians from being discriminated against. I wish it had been in place before I selected our poet laureate. She was held to much higher standards than the average poet could meet. That isn't fair. Average people deserve a chance to get awards too."
The law addresses several areas where Tillis, Berger, and McCrory felt average North Carolinians were losing out:
The NC Scholars program was started in 1983 to designate those high school students with high academic performance. The NC Scholars program will now recognize all students with a GPA of 2.0 and higher.
The North Carolina Governor's School program was the first such program for highly gifted high school students in the country. It serves about 600 of the state's most intellectually and artistically talented students. In the past, students were nominated by their schools based on their academic achievement. The selection process was rigorous with only the most gifted students gaining entry to the program. That was...until today. Now, schools will be required to nominate at least one student with a "C" average and the Governor's school will be required to accept 50% of their students from the pool of average students.
When asked if he thought this would damage the reputation of the Governor's School as a program for academically elite students, the governor replied, "No, frankly, it will be much harder for an average student to get into the program than it is for a gifted student since there are so many more people competing to be one of the average students selected. This makes the program even more elite because it is still very selective. Now only the top tier of average students will qualify to join the top tier of gifted students."
Order of the Long Leaf Pine
There were no changes made to the selection process for the Order of the Long Leaf Pine since it no longer takes that much to get one of these awards. The certificate was changed to read:
specialconfidence in the integrity, learning and zeal of [honoree], I [the Governor of North Carolina] do by these presents confer The Order of the Long Leaf Pine with the rank of Ambassador ExtraordinaryOrdinary, privileged to enjoy fully all rights granted to members of this exaltedorder, among which is the specialprivilege to propose the following North Carolina toast in select company anywhere in the free world:"
North Carolina State Toast
The first verse of the state toast will now read:
Here's to the land of the long leaf pine,
The summer land where the sun doth shine,
Where the weak grow strong and the strong
grow greatare fine just the way they are,
Here's to "Down Home," the Old North State!
Awards are given each year to those in North Carolina who make important contributions in science, literature, fine arts, and public service. These awards are the highest honors given in the state. This tradition will continue with the addition of a new award that is given to the man or woman who has demonstrated a long history of being average. Nominees for the award will be disqualified if it can be shown they ever attempted to improve in any way.