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The Oakland Post

SATIRE: Toddlers taught community engagement in an unconventional way

Simon Albaugh, Staff Reporter

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Toddlers are in for a hazy situation as students who want to smoke are protesting the police crack-down on campus cigarette use in a recent stream of radical smoking.

The Oakland University Police Department recently broke its record for smoking-related citations, with 238 in the last month. It came after “increased awareness,” according to administrators, but it’s most likely just from a really good anti-smoking commercial that came out last month.

Regardless of the efforts being made by OUPD and administrators, smokers are trying to push back for their rights “as smokers and as people,” according to Jacob Idoccar, a junior majoring in health sciences and one of the leaders of the movement.

Idoccar, along with other protesters, will hold what leading activists call a “smoke-in” at the Lowry Center for Early Childhood Education in response to the citations. The protesters’ goal is to raise awareness on the rights of smokers, who occasionally use cigarettes to treat underlying mental illnesses.

“Smoking isn’t a choice sometimes,” Idoccar said. “We want people to understand that by all means necessary, so we just needed to be here with all these children to really prove our point.”

The inappropriate locale for this protest still begs questions, as many unaffected students are wondering about the entire situation.

“Wait, they’re seriously doing that?” said freshman political science major Octavia Hanams. “Has the nicotine gone to their brains or something? I mean, I know it goes to your head, but . . . wait . . . can you not put that quote in the paper?”

Despite confusion and uncertainty, education students in Pawley Hall seem to have found a solution in the soon-to-be-irreparably-damaged lungs of toddlers.

“Yeah, we’re making a counterprotest,” said Diana Wathername, a senior who works at the early childhood center. “The children are being taught how to breathe through their noses and how their undeveloped lungs are being sacrificed for democratic expression, all while showing the smokers who they’re killing.”

So, just to be clear, people are breaking into a daycare center to teach toddler-aged children to smoke cigarettes. And the teachers are using this as an opportunity to teach kids civic responsibility.

“I’m proud that the children, every one of which has an incomplete understanding of language and yet-to-be-developed vital organs, are taking this campus’ livelihood into their tiny hands, which will almost definitely pick up a cigarette after being under the impression of adult behavior,” said one administrator over the phone. Much of the administration was having a sleepover with Hynd as part of a going-away party. “I’m very proud.”

Parents were not available for quotes. Mostly because after I asked them about it, they started freaking out.

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