“Forgive me for interrupting this pretentious discussion of the sordid affairs of your politico-religious existence,” , she said quite loudly to the small group that had gathered near the door, “but the reality is, you’re all full of shit.” The droning murmur of inane chatter that had filled the room suddenly stopped.
“Nicely done.”, I told her.
“Thank you.”, she said. “I’ve been rehearsing.”
“It shows.”, I replied. “I think we should go now.”
“Really?”, she asked, with an air of disappointment.
“Really.”, I said. “This could get very ugly.”
And so began our ongoing battle with our children’s school. Up until then, it had been my role to challenge the powers that be, to shake the status quo at its very foundation, to deliberate, dissect, and disgrace those involved with the task of educating my children. It was quite satisfying to know that my wife was equally up to the challenge.
“That was quite impressive.”, I continued as we walked to the car.
“Thank you.”, she responded. “I had an excellent teacher.”
“Well, its nice to know you were paying attention.”, I said.
“Do you really think that after all these years of listening to you that something wouldn’t have rubbed off?”, she asked.
The phone call we received the next day came as no surprise. The school administration, including the school’s Superintendent, had requested a meeting with us to discuss several concerns related to our kids. It did not sit well with my wife.
“Concerns with our kids?”, she ranted. “Are they out of their minds?”
“They are.”, I confirmed. “But you have to try to relax. We have to go in calm and seemingly rational, no matter how pissed we are. Never let them know what we are thinking.”
“That’s good.”, she said.
“Yep.”, I replied. “Words to live by from Vito Colerone.”
The meeting was more of a lynching, with 6 school and board personnel present, armed with files, and reports. They positioned themselves at one end of the table, so that my wife and I were forced to sit at the opposite end, looking like guilty school children. “Have a seat, please.”, the principal stated.
“I think I’d prefer to stand.”, I responded., as my wife sat down in her assigned seat. “What I have to say really won’t take very long.”
“However we have a rather lengthy list of concerns regarding your children.”, the Superintendent spouted.
“I’m sure you do.”, I replied. “But I really have no interest in hearing any of them. So, I understand that the teacher who had manhandled my daughter is still teaching in the school.”
“We have finished our investigation into the matter, and we don’t believe there is any need for further disciplinary measures.”, he answered.
“Well”, I said as I put my hand on my wife’s shoulder. “I don’t believe there is any need to continue this meeting.”, I stated as my wife stood up.
“Just a minute.”, the Superintendent said. “There are issues here we need to address.”
“Oh, I’m sorry.”, I replied. “Did I not make it clear that we really don’t give a shit about what you think?”.
“Well”, he continued. “Now we see why the children have so many behavioral issues.”
“Hell no.”, I corrected him. “You haven’t seen anything yet. I suggested you contact your superior, and have yourself, the principal of this school, the teacher and the Board of Education obtain legal counsel. I have secured a human rights attorney who is, as we speak, presenting a motion to bar Ms. Emmerson from teaching until a full and complete inquiry has been completed. As well, criminal charges for assault, and child abuse are being laid against this deranged woman. And the rest of you who were aware of the issues we raised, and did nothing, have been named in a civil law suit, as has the board. Papers should be served to all of you within the next 72 hours.”
“I don’t know what you think you’re going to get out of this.”, the Superintendent questioned.
“Oh.”, I reported, “I almost forgot. You may want to watch the 6 o’clock news tonight. Doesn’t matter which network. They are all airing this story. As to what I think I’m going to get out of this, well, your fucking jobs. Your careers, and your reputations.”
The silence that fell on the room was deafening. The Superintendent finally spoke. “Can I speak with you outside?” My wife and I joined him in the hallway, just outside of the school Principal’s office. “Don’t you think this can be rectified in some other way?”
“That ship has sailed.”, I replied. “We spoke several times, and you informed me every time that there were no grounds for any disciplinary action. You blamed my daughter, and justified the teacher’s actions. And so, now, you’re all fucked. Get Ms. Emmerson out of my kid’s school, and I will consider withdrawing the legal proceedings. Can I be frank with you?”
“Of course.”, he said.
“Do yourself a favor.”, I told him. “Don’t fuck with my family. We will take you down.”
“Well, that was pretty amazing.”, my wife said to me in the car. “How did you arrange all of that stuff.”
“I didn’t.”, I told her. “My friend Jerod is a lawyer. He’s drafting some letters, but now we wait to see what they do with our offer. They can transfer her wherever we don’t have kids.”
“What about the news casts tonight?”, she asked. “If they watch and its not on, they’ll know we’re full of shit.”
“It will be on.”, I assured her. “That I was able to arrange through Jerod. All three networks will air a report on a child being assaulted by a teacher and how the school and the board swept it under the rug.”
“You’re pretty sexy when you’re devious.”, she said.
In less than 24 hours, we received an email stating that effective immediately, Ms. Emmerson had been removed from the staff at my kid’s school, and transferred to another school at the far end of the school district. A formal letter from the school board arrived several days later, with a full and complete apology from the Board.
Things changed at my kid’s school. My kids seemed happier, and we no longer received phone calls about nonsense. When we did attend planning meetings for our kid’s, our ideas and recommendations were included in the plan. We never saw Ms. Emmerson again, and a few months later, the school principal disappeared. I told my wife that I had nothing to do with it, but I’m not sure if she believed me. My wife decided to become active in the PTA, and wound up being president. Me, well, I took satisfaction in knowing that my dream of being a Mafia enforcer had come true, and that I could easily turn my wife on by behaving like a character from Goodfellas.