Whaling Part 2

“Well, according to the judge, driving around a school zone in a windowless van that says ‘free candy’ is probable cause…look, I can’t help you any further.  You’ll have to take it up with the judge.  The school board, then.  I don’t care.  Basically anyone who isn’t me would be fine,” Principal Schwartz said, shaking his head and hanging up the phone as Carrie knocked and entered his office.  “Yes, Ms. Grant, how can I help you today?  Another pound of flesh for me to rubber stamp?”

“Kind of…what was that about?”

“Oh, nothing.  Don’t worry about it.  Private, confidential school business.”

“I see.  Anyway…”

Principal Schwartz let out a long, exaggerated sigh.  “One of the parents was calling to complain.  Well, as you know, tonight are parent teacher conferences, and one of the fathers is court ordered to stay 300 feet away from the school.  The mother isn’t happy about having to pick up the slack, and was complaining, because she’s a harpy hell-bitch.”

“That type of language is probably not something you should be using, considering the reason for my visit.”

“I don’t know why you’re visiting.  You haven’t told me.  Anyway, due to confidentiality, I can’t tell you that it’s Perry Davidson’s dad, but I kind of suspect he did it on purpose.  Having to stay away from schools?  How is that a punishment?  That’s more like a reward.  Shit, I’d take that any day.  No more parent teacher conferences for me.”

“Um, sure.”  Carrie looked at Principal Schwartz strangely.  “Are you drunk?”

Principal Schwartz exaggeratedly rolled his eyes.  “No, I’m going to deal with your parents sober.  Anyway, what do you want?”

“We had a situation in which one of the male students was harassing some of the female students.  He needs to be made an example of.”

Principal Schwartz shook his head.  “Great.  What’d he say?”

“He called Lucy beautiful.”

“That’s it?”

“It’s not that, per se.  He was hitting on her.  It was more in the context,” Carrie said, struggling to find the right words.  “It was kind of making her uncomfortable.  And other people.  We have a right to eat our lunch without being harassed.”

“Alright.  Did Lucy indicate that she was uncomfortable?”

“With her nonverbal cues, kind of.”

“Did he stop afterwards?”

“Yeah, but that’s not the point.  It never should have happened in the first place.”

“Fair enough.  If it upset Lucy enough for her to file a complaint, I’ll certainly listen to her story.”

“That’s not…I don’t think that will work.”

“Why not?”

“Lucy wasn’t really upset,” Carrie said.  “She didn’t like it, but she kind of just shrugged it off.  Beth seemed more upset than anyone.”

Principal Schwartz laughed.  “That makes some sense, actually.  Anyway, if Lucy isn’t complaining, there’s nothing I can really do about it.”

“What about our agreement?”

“Still applies.  But I’m certainly not taking direct action,” Principal Schwartz said.  He looked nervously at Carrie.  “Who’s the student?”

“Dan Johnson.”

“Oh, thank God.  I was afraid it was going to be somebody important.  Seriously, Dan Johnson,” Principal Schwartz said laughing.  “Anyway, I can’t do anything without a formal hearing and complaint, but he’s not important enough to defend.  Nobody will care if he gets tossed out or whatever, so just do whatever and send me the recommendation.  I just can’t act directly without going through the proper procedural safeguards.”

“Okay.  What safeguards do we need to follow?”

“I don’t care.  I’m allowed to defer to special boards in some cases, which is what I’m doing here.  You guys can create your own rules, or no rules.  Whatever.  Like I said, with a guy like this, nobody’s going to care enough to look into it.”

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