Young Henry was perfect: perfectly average, perfectly normal. Why did he need to be categorized in school? The principal explained to his parents that kids in the same categories were placed in classes together. Otherwise, with so many subjects and so many children in individualized learning plans, one child may not see the same two faces in class for weeks, causing social isolation. Adding Henry to a random category failed. When circumstances required the family to move across country, Gayle and Clay decided to give their son a fresh start by falsifying his records and placing him with children with shellfish allergies.
Everything went well for a few years, until the law caught up with them. Now Gayle and Clay are on trial, facing prison, all because they couldn’t let their child be a pariah. Will they be imprisoned for the rest of Henry’s childhood? Should they take their chances and run? Will Henry ever find a niche of his own?
In this dystopian short story, large scale individualized education misfires for the minority who are merely average.