Naked in School - Dennis and Susanbycentauri4©
Rumors - "The Program" Expands Across the Nation
In our school rumors of a program requiring students to attend classes completely naked had begun to circulate around campus just before summer break last year. Someone said they read a participant's account on the Internet, but most of my friends and classmates simply could not believe it was true.
Being normal curious teenagers we chatted about the outrageous ideas in the halls and wondered whether "The Program" was the bizarre creation of another student's imagination, a cult of nineteen-sixty's hippie parents, or a group of Ivy League sociologists bent of redesigning society along utopian lines. Some pretty amazing speculations from a bunch of hormone driven teenagers in suburban northern Virginia, huh?
On the last day of classes the novelty of these rumors had largely worn off and talk of summer jobs and planned family vacations prevailed. When the final bell rang and all the buses left West County High's parking lot, a sizziling silence descended over the buildings disturbed only by the sounds of grasshoppers in the distance. I walked home with three friends, Mike, Jim and Paul. Nobody mentioned the rumors from school, but I imagine we were all thinking about them.
Over the Summer
The job I arranged during the last few months of school was working at the local import car repair shop in the center of town. The pay was pretty good and it also afforded me an opportunity to keep in touch with car owning classmates and hear stories of the summer adventures long before anyone else.
Susan was a quiet blonde haired girl I remembered from Alegbra class who owned a sporty convertable handed down from her older sister. We had only spoke to each other a couple of times during the school year, so I was a little surprised when she struck up a conversation with me in the waiting room while her oil was changed.
"So, have you been doing anything interesting outside of work this summer?" she asked.
"Oh, well, not really. Working here takes up most of my time and you wouldn't believe the number of people in this town who let their car's maintenance slide until summer heat catches up with them." I replied emphatically.
Susan said her dad had gotten her an internship at the local television station for the summer, and that she was learning everything there was to know about broadcast operations and on-air news reporting. The money was okay and the people seemed really interested in making sure she learned as much as she worked at ordinary office tasks. This was something she really had not expected, but many of the station employees were fairly young themselves and working at WWHN was their first post-college job.
When her car was ready I completed her service order, she paid for the oil change, and then she asked me something rather unexpected.
"So, you probably haven't heard anything else about that program everyone was talking about since school got out have you?" she said discreetly while we stood to the side of the service counter.
"No, I haven't. There have been a few other students in here but nobody's mentioned THAT at all." I said. "Why? What have you heard?"
Quickly Susan explained the television station had received canned footage for the news staff to work with, and that one day a couple of tape editors asked her to look at some of it. When they asked if she was offended by nudity at all, she wondered what sort of Summer Break footage was about to be viewed.
"Then I told them nudity was no big deal to me, but that I actually hadn't seen much of it outside of the locker room, at a friend's sleepover or at home." So both editors nodded and began to run the first segment. "Dennis, it was about 'The Program' and its impact on a high school in southern California!" she said.
I was somewhat surprised to hear that rumor come up again, but even more surprised to hear that it was not shimply a rumor, but in fact a real thing!
"So what did the tape show?" I couldn't help but ask, knowing that I needed to hear the details quickly and get back to work. Susan sensed my need and told me a reporter covered the introduction of The Program, interviewed a couple of school board members, a psychologist, and a handful of parents before cutting to a wide pan of the school campus itself.
"It was a shot of students getting off the buses before first class and there were actually several naked butts walking away from the camera!" she said in a totally serious manner as if to convince me she was not making this up in the least. "A few heads turned to watch the naked students go inside, but most of them were totally to busy to even care apparently" she added, and then she went on to finish the tale by saying that everyone interviewed, including the students themselves, had nothing but positive remarks about The Program.
"No way. You're kidding me, right?" I asked.
"Absolutely not. I watched every piece of video we received later that same day and not one minute of it was negative or disapproving" she answered. "And get this..." she added pausing briefly to compose her final sentence, "The Program is coming here next year and the Parents and Teachers Association is meeting to discuss how WE will be introduced to it!!"
"You mean WE as in West High?" I could barely ask.
"Yes. Us." she replied with a tone of dread and foreboding. "Apparently the politicians in Washington have already reviewed the trial program data, questionaire results, and heard testimony from school officials and parents representing the cities where The Program was tried. Afterwards they found no Constitutional infringement was involved and the civil benefits worth further exploration."
Wow! Susan really seemed to have learned the complete details of the entire story and become somewhat of a reporter herself in the two short months since classes ended. I felt myself hanging on every word she said and almost immediately considering the implications they carried... Which not surprisingly caused my mind's eye to picture her on a television screen with bare shoulders and chest descending to the lower edge of the picture. Even though Susan is a nice looking girl, I had never before imagined her in a bikini or less during all the time we were in classes together!
The End of Summer
About two weeks before classes were scheduled to begin a letter from the school board arrived addressed to my parents. Dad opened it before dinner that evening and found a survey to be completed by parents of West High students.
The survey included questions about their personal attitudes towards nudity, whether they had ever been skinny-dipping, modeled for art classes, and whether they considered simple nudity to be sexual or pornographic. After dinner mom and dad answered these questions quietly while I sat at the dinner table also. Very few words were excahnged between them, but a few gestures with a number two pencil and alot of head nodding occured.
Before the survey was finished they found a page labeled, "Remainder to be completed by the oldest student in your household" and being an only child that was obviously me. Mom passed over the pages and the pencil and then both of them left the room headed for the den. I spread the pages out in front of me and began reading.
The first questions were really basic stuff, list your age, weight, height, hair color and of course, sex. I didn't think I would be filling in any circles with a number two pencil over the summer, but here I was. The next set got into attitudes and opinions I had towards nudity as it is depicted in classical art, literature, old and new movies I might have seen, and finally the ways the body is used in contemporary print and television advertising. "Do I think it is acceptable for billboards to show young men in their underwear?" was one of the questions, and the possible answers were "Yes", "No" or "No opinion".
A few of the other questions were, "Have you ever seen ancient Greek or Roman era art depicting nudity in social or athletic settings?", "Have you had a reading assignment where any character in the story was described as unclothed or being nude?", and "Do you believe western society currently portrays nudity in a positive or negative manner?", all of these questions simply listed "Yes" or "No" as possible answers.
As I finished the survey, the final paragraph instructed the student to return their portion of the survey directly to the school board in the postpaid envelope provided. The instructions also asked students not to allow their parents to read their answers or discuss the questions with other students prior to the beginning of Fall classes.
September - First Day of Classes
A class assembly was called at the beginning of the day.
Everyone gathered in the main auditorium. The principal steped forward and explained the results of the surveys had been tabulated and after careful analysis, West High is to be a "pilot school" for the Virginia in The Program. West High was confirmed as a participant in The Program because of both the parents answers to the survey AND the high marks achieved by the surveyed students as well.
Principal Jones then explained "The Program" and said a video presentation was the next step in introducing all students to the details of how this program worked and what it hoped to achieve. The lights in the auditorium were dimmed, the stage curtains parted and the video began about thirty seconds later.
The video explained the history of nudity in civilized and primitive societies, the social dynamics involved with what it called "open nudity" in "mixed sex" settings, how The Program first started and why many experts in the fields of sociology and psychology believed many modern countries were repressed and not achieveing the same levels of enlightenment demonstrated by various cultures in the past, or something like that anyway. I may not be recalling the details with complete clarity because of what followed after the video was finished and the auditorium lights came up.
The principal once again walked to the middle of the stage and explained that while small groups of students had been selected to participate at other schools involved in this program, West High was going to trial it with the entire student body at the same time! This would prevent any student from being ridiculed, teased or otherwise isolated from their peers due to their lack of traditional attire.
Gasp and groans from almost everyone in the crowd filled the air for several minutes, I think even a few teachers made noise until Principal Jones quieted everyone down and continued. "Because each student already has a locker in the main areas of the campus, you are all being required to go to them at the conclusion of today's assembly, remove all articles of clothing except for socks and shoes if desired and store the in your lockers." He further explained that the school was fully empowered to direct each student to participate in The Program by the authority it had over the student body before such a program was ever imagined, but that anyone who wanted to contact their parents for confirmation of this was welcome to do so. Furthermore the deadline for beginning our participation was moved from the end of the assembly to around ten o'clock, just about an hour away, after second class period.
Principal Jones concluded his presentation by announcing this initial trial of The Program would last for one week.
As he finished, teachers began passing out brochures on The Program moving down the aisles from the front of the auditorium at the ends of each row. It did not take very long for them to finish handing out to the entire student body. The assembly was dismissed and we all began filing out into the halls, at which point many students headed for the Commons and the school's payphones, while even more began pulling cellphones out of their backpacks and purses. Some just stood in small groups in no hurry to go anywhere, apparently discussing whether they had actually gotten out of bed this morning or were still at home dreaming.
I knew for a fact that this was not a dream because of the conversation I had with Susan over the summer, and so did a few of my classmates apparently. Conversations quickly turned to whether it was a good idea to wait as long as possible before leaving their clothing in our lockers, or how manly, brave, independent and self-assured we would appear by simply getting on with participating. Before these discussions ever finished and the small groups had broken up completely, a few students were observed pulling t-shirts over their heads near lockers or hanging up cellphones with looks of dispair on their faces. It appeared that West High was about to become the first Program representative on the east coast of the country whether any of the students liked it or not!
"The Program" Begins
A few classmates nearby had anguished looks on their faces, but just as many had already removed their shirts, shoes and socks; in preparation for undressing all the way I imagined. It was really an amazing sight to witness given that absolutely nothing like this had ever happened to any of us, ever!
Quiety I set my backpack on the floor and began spinning the combination lock on the front of my own locker. Once I had my locker open I knew, right now anyway, I was in my own little corner of the world. A place with familiar pictures and posters tapped to the inside of "my space", a familiar place, and a place I alone had total control over for the past couple years of my teenage life. All of that had now changed, and somehow I knew that when I closed my locker I would be part of something different and sort of "historic". These ideas were quickly squashed from my mind by thoughts of embarrassment and humiliation much stronger than I had expected.
'I can do this!', 'everyone is doing this!', 'what's the point in refusing??' From everything Susan had told me and from what I could imagine more quickly than anything I had imagined before, it was a program who's time had come. People, well students, were either forced into it or ended up volunteering themselves by making teasing comments of other students as they participated. The brochure explained that teasing another student about their nudity was grounds for getting your name moved to the top of the list of involuntary participants for following weeks. West High was going to be different because schools elsewhere had only tried The Program with small portions of their student bodies, and typically required a few students to participate for one week involunarily. I unbuttoned my shirt and hung it up in my locker, but before I could get my shoes removed in order to remove my pants, I was startled by a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and was surprised to see Susan standing behind me with only her backpack strap covering one shoulder but otherwise completely nude!
"Come on Dennis, you might as well hurry up. The bell for first class is going to ring in a minute or two and we will both be late" was all she said initially. For some reason, to me, the fact that she was nude didn't mean much to my mind for the first few seconds, and then I found my voice and replied, "Well, you certainly didn't waste any time gettting with The Program!"
"Yeah, I know" she said. "Well, you know the story of my summer job along with a handful of others, and I guess I had already played out the scenario in my head a thousand times since watching the footage of the California trial of The Program".
"It doesn't feel bad to be nude, just strange" was the sentence she spoke which finally registered with me as being made BY A NAKED GIRL directly in front of me! I quickly resigned myself that she was probably right and that I could deal with whatever feelings I might have after removing my clothes later in the day. Continuing to undress I removed my sneakers, unbuttoned my jeans, and pushed everything down from my waist in one move!
In a way I guess I felt like I was at home getting ready for a shower, but when the cool conditioned air of the hallway touched exposed parts of my body as never before I realized home was not the only place I would be naked from now on.
It was no surprise when my penis began to grow slightly when fully exposed to view in front of Susan and the other students in the hall. I was embarrassed. Thankfully Susan did not comment on my appearance and, as I hung my pants inside my locker, put my sneakers back on and picked up my backpack, for a brief instant I felt perfectly normal.
As Susan and I began walking down the hall to our next classes, we passed many of our classmates who were either completely undressed or nearly so. Everyone was busy looking up and down the hall to see what reaction other students were having to this new experience, and no one initially said anything, not even 'Hi' to either of us. My first class of the day was Third Year Art, and Susan's was English Composition, a tough class early in the day. Today, I knew there would be no shortage of topics to write about!
"Hey, you know this doesn't seem so bad" Susan said as we neared the corner where we would go in separate directions. "Oh sure! Who are you kidding??" I replied. She just smiled and I thought I saw her eyes glance downward in a quick survey of my body. Once again, I was embarrassed.
Walking into Art class was another new experience for me, because more than three-quarters of the class was already in their seats and every one of them was naked just like me. A few sat quietly but others were chatting and whispering to each other the way they almost always do. I noticed a few of the guys chests had a little hair on them, but many were mostly bare like mine. I couldn't really see anything below the desks on either the guys or girls, but the sight of so many bare breasts of my female classmates excited me a lot more as I dropped my backpack and slid into my seat. Surprisingly several students were still fully dressed.
In class we discussed the history of nudity in art, a topic perfectly suited for the day. It seems that history's artists have been as preoccupied with drawing and painting the nude human form as we are with using it in print advertising and making films which usually include at least one actor getting naked. Our teacher, Mrs. Winger, pointed out that the subjects of nude art ranged from everyday activities such as bathing, to obviously posed modeling, and finally to highly erotic nudes attempting to capture the variaties of human sexual behavior. This was all very informative but nobody commented or giggled; most just sat and listened attentively. This stunned behavior was not what I expected from my classmates based on recollections of last school year.
After Art Class everyone poured out into the hallways and began moving to their next classes. It was truly a spectacle to see so much bare skin in one place! Shoulders, backs, butts, and, well, everything. There were a few students still wearing their street clothes, but none of the teachers said anything to them because one more class remained before the participation deadline.
All of the teachers remained fully clothed, and a few of them were obviously in awe of the sight of so many nude young bodies circulating through the halls. I doubted whether any of them had heard of The Program over the summer or, if they had, were mentally prepared for the reality of nude school.
The Program - Susan's Recollections
Susan walked past quite a few familiar classmates on the way to her next class, but fortunately none of them stopped her or asked to inspect any portion of her body. As an essential educational part of The Program, the brochures had explained interactive human anatomy "lessons on demand" were required of the participants. Students cooperation with each other's requests was stipulated in the Program's rules very clearly.