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Middle school officials can't 'duct' a promise

Greg Willis, principal, and Tim Gordon, assistant principal of Langley Middle School are duct taped with six rolls of 2- inch tape to the cafeteria wall after students exceeded $30,000 in a fund-raising effort. - Gayle Saran
Greg Willis, principal, and Tim Gordon, assistant principal of Langley Middle School are duct taped with six rolls of 2- inch tape to the cafeteria wall after students exceeded $30,000 in a fund-raising effort.
— image credit: Gayle Saran

They had their backs to the wall. Taped to the wall that is.

Langley Middle School Principal Greg Willis and Assistant Principal Tim Gordon became wall hangings this week when they lost a challenge to their students.

The pair agreed to the “taping” if students raised at least $30,000 during a recent school fund-raiser selling magazine subscriptions.

Obviously motivated by the prospect of turning their principals into duct tape mummies, the students exceeded their goal and raised $36,000.

So on Thursday, the pair of administrators stood side by side against a cafeteria door — each on three math books. They were fearless, even taunting, as students plastered them with layer after layer of duct tape.

“Is that all you have? Bring it on. I’m not afraid,” Willis said.

Gordon urged on the cheering students, saying “Let’s get some serious tape going here.”

Students who sold eight or more subscriptions were given the opportunity to participate in the taping.

“We had 220 students who sold at least eight,” said teacher Linda Racicot, coordinator of the project. “It’s the best we’ve ever done, and we did it with fewer students.”

The LMS student enrollment is 495, down from 600 last year. The school gets 40 percent of the $36,000 raised. Half goes to the student body to fund special projects and half to the school’s site council for books and materials requested by teachers.

The students seemed to enjoy themselves.

“This is lots of fun. We can tape and tape and they can’t move or do anything. It’s great,” said Christina Atkinson, a seventh grader.

Michelle Raymond, a seventh-grader, agreed but wanted to do more.

“It’s fun, but it’s not fair that we can’t tape their heads, too.”

What took about 20 minutes to do was over in seconds. The books were pulled out from beneath their feet, and Willis and Gordon were momentarily suspended six inches or so from the floor, before the tape gave way to free them.

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