So you stuck the book of Daniel in a high school. Why?
Yeah, I understand. It seems kind of weird to stick some ancient captive from Babylon in a vape-induced environment. But let me try to boil it down to ten easy points.
1. Daniel was a teenager
He was. When they took him into captivity, he would've been around 15 or 16. So roughly a sophomore.
2. Daniel had a three-year schooling
In Babylon, the King wanted him (and his Israelite friends) to have a full Babylonian immersion and education. That included learning the language of the land and touching some subjects his religion would never allow. Sophomore year-senior year = three years of school. Blaze starts sophomore year.
3. Daniel stood up for his beliefs (despite being young)
Daniel Chapter One still happens in the teen years. Also, if you take a look at Gen Z, this generation has made its mark for not standing for deficiencies in organizations, administrations. They will not let people look down on them for being young.
4. Daniel had experienced immense pressure to change
His environment tried to stamp out any identity he had of his life before. Sound like high school, anyone?
5. Daniel experienced bullying
If you call a group of people scheming against you because of your identity to toss you into a lions den, I would call that bullying.
6. Daniel had a restricted diet
Take a look at most school cafeterias, they don't have many gluten-free, vegetarian, or other options for limited diets. We don't know exactly the reasons Daniel and his friends rejected the king's food, but we do know he only chose to eat vegetables.
7. Daniel had periods where he lay sick for days
Granted, I translated this as anxiety and stomach problems in Blaze, but when he goes through some major stuff in Chapter 8 of Daniel, he's not eating that cafeteria food any time soon. Anxiety and depression are more prevalent among teens now than ever before.
8. Daniel was a minority
Meaning, in Babylon, most people did not believe in Yahweh. Danny, in Blaze, also is a minority. Very few Christians, or really students of any religion, attend King's Academy.
9. Daniel lived in a hostile/lethal environment
In 2018, 113 students were killed in school shootings in America. Sure, we don't toss people into lions dens and fiery furnaces, but schools have grown more lethal than every before.
10. Daniel looks out for his friends
Nothing quite equates to a kinship in a scary environment. When Daniel correctly interprets the king's dream and receives a high position, he asks the king to look down on favor to his friends as well.
"We've got to stick together in a place like this" (Blaze) after all.