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Principal taped to wall as reward for Darlington third graders

Posted at 2:18 PM, Jun 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-18 16:41:08-04

DARLINGTON, Md. — Students at a Harford County School answered an important scientific question recently: How many rolls of duct tape are needed to make a someone levitate off the floor?

As a reward for accumulating the most box tops during the 2018-2019 school year, third graders at Darlington Elementary School in Darlington taped principal Alberta Porter to the wall, leaving her feet hovering inches off the ground.

“Whatever gets the kids motivated,” said Porter, the leader of the 110-student school.

Of nearly 2,500 box tops redeemed by the school, the 16 students who comprise the school’s third grade class accumulated more than 1300 box tops when the finally tally was counted, Porter said. Each month, the class that accrued the most box tops for that month got a reward, with a few of those prizes involving Porter as a tease to the ultimate prize awarded at the end of the year. She knew in the beginning of the year they would come up with something special. A list of ideas was created, including kissing a cow or being doused in silly string, an idea that had been used previously. Eventually taping her to the wall was selected.

On Monday, the day of the taping, Porter thought ahead and wore leggings under her dress and donned a raincoat to protect her skin from the sticky tape. At 12:45 p.m. the students were assembled into the school’s cafeteria/gymnasium/auditorium where Porter and her staff encouraged their pupils for the work of the past year and extolled the value and resources provided by the box top drive. Then Porter climbed a small foot stool and waited patiently as teachers cut long strands of duct tape and handed them over to students who began adhering their principal to the wall

“They were worried about hurting me,” Porter said of the students. “They were concerned about how I was going to get down and that I would be safe.”

Six rolls of tape, all donated by Delta Lumber, were required to pull off the fun feet of physics. When Porter was finally cut down from her cocoon, she and the students were surprised by the weight of all that tape. Now the challenge for Porter, her staff, and the PTA is to come up with a fun stunt that will top the tape job and motivate students next year.

Porter said a list of new ideas will again be generated, but “you remember,” she said, “I get the final say.”