Written by: Beth Stewart
Directed by: James Marshall
Aired on Nickelodeon: October 21, 2000 at 9:00 p.m.
My Overall Opinion of the Episode:
This is an episode that starts out strong, but it has a weak ending.
Cynthia Belliveau -- Dori Lowe
Lindsay Felton -- Caitlin Seeger
Jeremy Foley -- Griffen Lowe
David Lereaney -- Principal Pettigrew
Tania Saulnier -- Taylor Langford
Makyla Smith -- Portia Pettigrew
Ken Tremblett -- Jim Lowe
Stephen Warner -- Brett Stevens
"It's All Good" -- Clover Honey
"Dirty Honey" -- Clover Honey
"Wishing for a Sail" -- Dig Circus
Principal Pettigrew has just arrived at High River High School bringing
a set of strict rules and an authoritarian attitude. He shows little respect
for the students. He is a dictator who talks more than he listens. He immediately
announces that all students will be required to wear uniforms. Caitlin, however,
sees this as a threat to her individual right of expression. Pettigrew tears
up a petition against school uniforms that Griffen started, and he tears
up Brett's petition in favor of school uniforms. He confiscates Caitlin's
leather jacket. Caitlin protests the school uniforms by refusing to go to
class. Many of the students eventually join her protest. When Caitlin camps
out in the gym, Pettigrew declares to her, "For all I care, you can stay here
until they cart you off to the old punks home!" He tries to break Caitlin's
protest by canceling all extra-circular activities for all students. This
almost turns the students against Caitlin. We see a "softer" side of Petigrew
in the end that is way too strange and inconsistent to be believable. He agrees
to loosen up the rules and to consider student's wishes in the decision of
whether or not to require school uniforms. Pettigrew even overlooks the fact
that Caitlin goes into his office without permission and takes her leather
jacket back. Pettigrew's strange change of heart doesn't work well in the
context of the overall story. It seems unlikely that an aggressively authoritarian
man like Pettigrew would reform so easily.
1. Griffen doesn't understand why this issue is so important to Caitlin.
He says to her, "Caitlin, they're just clothes!" Caitlin responds by saying,
"You don't understand! Your parents bought you clothes whenever you needed
them! All I ever had were hand-me-downs! I wanted my clothes to say something
about me so I saved up for two years to buy that leather jacket! It's like
my trademark, and it means more to me than any clothes you'll ever have!"
2. Pettigrew's daughter Portia tells Caitlin that she has misjudged her
father. Portia portrays her father as someone who cares about his students.
Portia tells Caitlin, "His last school was one of the worst in the country.
He started school breakfast. When he was principal, the drop-out rate went
3. Caitlin and Principal Pettigrew have a one-on-one conversation near
the end of the episode. Caitlin says, "Look, Portia told me what you did
for your other school. And maybe we should get to know you and see what you
can do for our school. But you need to get to know us before you can decide
what kind of freedom we can or cannot handle." Principal Pettigrew agrees
to form a dress-code committee with input from students, parents, and teachers.
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