IV-"Undercover Student" - Shann Nix - San Francisco Chronicle

IV-"Undercover Student" - Shann Nix - San Francisco Chronicle

"I'm a Reporter - Not a Narc"

by: Shann Nix | publication date: November 19, 1992 | Publication: San Francisco Chronicle | pages: A1

". . . Most of the kids tell me that they knew I didn't fit in. I ask what it was that gave me away. "'You wore your jacket collar turned up,' someone says. 'No one has done that since the '80s!' "'You wore the right clothes, but in the wrong way," another girl says. "Too formal. You weren't bummie enough.' . . . "'You throw your head back when you laugh," someone else says. 'You're too confident, too self-assured.' "There are things that you learn in life after high school, I decide as I listen, that mark you permanently. No makeup or jewelry, no Gap jeans or baggy T-shirts can hide the sculpting that experience gives you. . . . "

In the final installment of her four-part series, Shann Nix discloses her ruse, perpetrated with the permission of the schools superintendent and principal. Students express a range of emotions, from sorrow that she will no longer be in class to betrayal and loss of trust.

Copyrighted, used with San Francisco Chronicle permission.