There was a time in my younger days when I would have seen a headline such as this and simply assumed that it came from some sort of parody publication. Perhaps National Lampoon. In the modern era, however, it’s really just another day at the office. Sure, it would be pleasant to think that you’re being tricked and this is just some sort of Rickroll to The Onion, but it’s not. At one school in North Carolina, students will be able to watch the inauguration of the next president, but only if they have a permission slip from their parents. This comes to us from the Badger Pundit.

Here are the instructions provided to teachers at the school.

Please keep a few things in mind if you decide to show the inauguration during the school day.

Parents will need to provide permission for their children to view the inauguration.

Teachers and administrators should not share their personal political opinions in regard to the inauguration.

Students whose parents don’t want them to view the inauguration must be provided an alternate learning activity.

The story originated from Milwaukee Talk Show host Mark Belling during his program earlier this month. Here’s the video of that episode and the portion relating to this story begins right at the top.

After a fair bit of searching I was unable to come up with the name of the school so I couldn’t call them to verify this story. Belling indicates that he knows which school district it is, but the tipster (an athletic director at the school) wished to remain anonymous. But it’s been picked up in a few places and sounds as if it’s legitimate, so if Belling authenticated it, we’re probably solid. He does claim to have the instruction quoted above on the letterhead of the school superintendent.

Has this happened before? I’m aware that parental permission slips are regularly required from parents and guardians for a variety of valid reasons. These are particularly common for field trips, lab experiments or some classes which may provide discomfort for some families such as health classes covering reproductive issues and such. But this is essentially an audio-visual presentation in the classroom. It’s an event which will be carried on all the major networks and a bunch of cable outlets. I did a brief search for stories from January of 2005, 2009 and 2013 to see if there was something similar but came up dry. Of course it’s possible that it did happen and was only picked up by local news outlets, but does it seem likely?

This is the inauguration of the next president. It’s living history being broadcast in high definition. Whether you voted for Trump or for Clinton, this is current events in every sense of the word. But we have people in charge of a public school who are so carried away by Trump Derangement Syndrome that they’re sending out permission slips to watch it?

There’s been a lot of crowing in Republican circles this winter over the number of state legislatures and governors’ mansions around the country which are currently held by the GOP. That’s good news to be sure, but this story brings another subject to mind. Perhaps conservatives need to be a bit more energized and begin taking control of the school boards across the nation. This is extremely disturbing and an idea like this doesn’t just erupt out of a vacuum.