The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School


The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School


The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School


Inside the successes and failures of the Lakeside Yassification Initiative

Nearly two years have passed since a new administrative team took Lakeside by storm. Over those years, a secret re-envisioning of Lakeside has been in the works, a project dubbed the Lakeside Yassification Initiative, or LYAASSI. Based on a series of interviews conducted over the course of months with staff whistleblowers, “Tatler” has taken a deep dive into the initiative, examining exciting upcoming changes and covered-up mistakes.

LYAASSI began after a years-long push by members of GLOW and queer faculty, who, noticing a severe lack of fierceness on campus, decided to take a stand. Vivian A. ’24, who was nominated to be on a panel offering the administration ideas for the LYAASSI project, told “Tatler”: “I felt a responsibility to use my talent — my fierceness privilege — for the good of the community.”

The most immediate and obvious result of LYAASSI is the reorientation and renaming of the Service Learning Department to the Serving Department. “The purpose of the Service Learning — sorry — Serving Department has always been to help others,” explained serving coordinator Ms. C.-T. She added, “Now, more than volunteering at food banks, tutoring elementary school students, or answering mental health crisis calls, we recognize the potential of serving looks to really change the Lakeside community for the better.”

Thus, the serving department will shift its focus from volunteering to a workshop-based curriculum that will teach students how to serve looks and realness. Local drag performers will visit Lakeside to teach students the essentials of glam, duck walking, and death dropping. Students will still be required to compose a personal reflection after each session.

Other changes resulting from the LYAASSI include a broader growth in the inclusion of queer culture in Lakeside’s curriculum. For example, English teachers have been instructed to teach students to “read” each other, referring to the drag expression for making a shady personal critique of someone. Further, the core science classes have been renamed to Biyaasslogy, Physickening, and Chemishunty.

However, this realignment of the curriculum and administrative priorities to center drag culture has not been without hiccups. An anonymous faculty whistleblower who spoke with “Tatler” recalled several cases of inappropriate use of drag terminology. These include a teacher telling a student to “Werk it, [redacted],” an intended compliment which instead set off a firestorm of emails from the student’s parents to the school.

The whistleblower also told “Tatler” of confusion that has arisen as drag lingo has begun to permeate faculty speech. In one instance, a staff member complimented architects of Lakeside’s new building by saying that they “graduated from the University of Servington with a degree in Motherological studies.” Another teacher recalled the same staff member saying that her outfit was “giving boots the house down sickening slay mama hunty realness.” In perhaps the most jarring incident, one teacher complimented another’s lesson plans by saying “You ate so hard that you blew the door off the Alaska Airlines mother plane and forced an emergentea slaynding.”

As LYAASSI continues, major changes are set to make Lakeside even more glamorous, but for now, the changes to the serving department are the most notable. Ms. C.-T. conferred that she has been working hard on one major project to conclude this school year and serve as a public announcement of the department’s realignment.

Namely, seniors who do not complete their Capstone requirement will have to lipsync for their life at Baccalaureate in order to graduate. “It’s like a sudden death,” she continued. “If your performance isn’t up to par, no diploma for you.” Dr. Bynum, Mr. Boccuzzi, and Ms. Suttell will serve as judges to determine which students “shantay, you stay,” and which must “sashay away” from graduation. Ms. C.-T. added: “You have to gradueat if you hope to graduate.”

In concluding her interview with “Tatler,” Ms. C.-T. reminded seniors to finish up their serving learning Capstone projects, or else “start practicing the lyrics to ‘I Will Survive.’”

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About the Contributor
Zane R. '24
Zane R. '24, Editor in Chief
Review: Zane: The Movie (★★★★☆) Released in early 2006, Zane quickly became a fan favorite. A charming and lovable fella, Zane has captured the hearts of watchers around the nation. Top scenes include moving across the world, surfing waves as a 6-yearold on the sunny California coast, and battling his enemies with his Black-Belt karate skills. Despite some judgement, Zane and his journalistic exploits remains well-respected by most. Critics say: "10/10 writer. 8/10 personality." - Lucy K. '24 "Fun sense of humor. Great guy all around." - Rishi L. '24 "He looks a lot like one of my friends. Actually... maybe not." - Stellan M. '23

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