SATIRE – Controversy Surrounds North Korea Deployment Ex-Ed


by Zlake Bilberman Staff Newbie

This year there will be many changes coming to the Ex-Ed program. Each year, in September, students participate in numerous different trips with their classmates. There are some outdoorsy options, such as backpacking trips, and then there are also some more academic options.

However, this year, the school is experimenting with increased diversity in course options, labeled as ‘Extreme Ex-Ed Courses.’ This new brand of Ex-Ed aims to educate students on interesting current events going on in other parts of the world.

The new options range from many different experiences students can partake in. They include the Live in a Volcano trip, the Be a Soldier in an Active War trip, and the Become Guards of a Maximum Security Prison trip, just to name a few.

However, the trip that has been subject to the greatest levels of controversy is the trip to sneak into North Korean Leader, Kim Jong Un’s house. For the duration of the five-day long course, students will be staying inside of North Korea, secretly spending each day surveying the grounds of the Supreme Leader’s compound. Eventually, by the end of the trip, they should be inside the house, hiding from security. This is were the students will attempt to spend their last night of the trip.

Proponents of the course have argued that the brief course will provide students with an invaluable, once-in-a-lifetime experience, where students will learn how to evade security and to create and execute on a conclusive step by step plan to infiltrate any building. On top of this, students will learn valuable lessons on how to live outdoors and protect themselves in hand-to-hand combat in case of capture. As AHS student John Yill explains,

“While some other courses may be taught in forgiving environments where students are not required to focus and learn the skills on how to protect themselves, this course will be taught in an unforgiving environment that will teach the hard way,” Yill said, “Afterall, if you screw up because you don’t focus, you may not survive.”

Students are excited about these opportunities as they will provide a greater range and depth to the Ex-Ed experience beyond the typical backpacking and rafting courses. As Yill continues,

“Most years I just do rafting or backpacking trips which are great, but the new options this year will be so much cooler,” explained Yill, “The Afghanistan trip is cool, but I mean I’m definitely going to spend all my points on the North Korea trip.”

Unquestionably, concerns have been raised over this new program. Students, teachers, and parents alike have all questioned whether it is safe to send students to illegally sneak into the North Korean leader’s house. Answering the question, Sarah Strasshotdog explains that,

“The goal of the trip is to educate students on what life may look like outside of Aspen’s bubble, which the trip clearly fulfills,” Strasshotdog said, “Of course it will be dangerous to break into one of the most feared dictator’s homes. Therefore, students partaking in the trip must recognize that and remain careful. We truly do have confidence that the student body can achieve this.”