Fandom: The Faculty
Characters: Casey / Mr. Connor / Miss Drake
Word Count: 1036
Disclaimer: not mine, of course
Mr. Connor entered the principal's office with mixed feelings. It was not the first time that he had gotten a startling call from school. Casey was a good student, but for sure he was not a popular one. More the outsider who loved his photography more than sports; this and that he didn't show much interest in the girls at school was the reason for a lot of rumors ... and worse. Not that the Connors did care much; they were proud of their son who never complained about all the bullying and teasing but rather went his own way.
Slightly concerned Mr. Connor wondered what it would be this time, a sprained arm, a concussion? But to his surprise, Casey was sitting on a chair in front of the principal's desk; unharmed on the first sight.
"Casey? What's happened," he asked.
Miss Drake, the principal, didn't even give him a chance to answer. She looked annoyed.
"I'm sorry that I needed to call you. But Casey's behavior this morning was ab-so-lutely incorrect. I can't ignore it, when a student acts like that against a teacher."
For a moment Mr. Connor was wondering if this was just a bad joke; Casey did affront his teacher? Hard to believe. But the principal of Herrington High wasn't known as a very jocular woman. Questioningly he turned to his son who shrugged.
"They want to suspend Zeke from school," Casey explained.
"Because of Miss Burke. She says Zeke tried to break in into the teacher's lounge to steal the answers of the graduations tests next months. That's ridiculous."
"Ezekiel Tyler," Miss Burke interrupted him again.
"He is a problematic student; already repeated a year; always in trouble. I can see only one reason, why Casey lies for him. He forces him to do that. But that's not an excuse for his behavior."
"I don't lie."
Casey's blue eyes sparkled with anger now.
"And Zeke is the last one who would bully me. Miss Burke is the one who twists the truth."
"Why should she do that?"
Casey paused for a moment, glanced at his dad apologizing before answering.
"Because she has a crush on him and he rejects her. Half of the school knows about it. It's embarrassing what she's doing."
Miss Burke gasped for air.
"You don't know what you are talking about, Casey. Miss Burke, she is a very dedicated teacher and rumors like that can devastate her repetition beyond retrieval."
"And what's with Zeke's rep," Casey spat angrily.
"No one asks what this can mean for his future."
Determined Mr. Connor stepped forward and put a hand on his shoulder.
"Calm down, son. It's okay, I'm sure, we will clear this."
He turned to the principal again.
"What did you say, at what time did this incident in the lounge happen?"
"Yesterday, late in the afternoon. Miss Burke did come back after class for some papers she needed for her next lesson. She stumbled across Zeke; he tried to open one of the drawers at the filing cabinet where we keep all the tests for graduation. It was obvious what was going on. I guess he wanted to sell the questions to the other students later."
"Yesterday," Mr. Connor repeated thoughtfully.
"Hm. I guess I would like to talk with Miss Burke. For sure she will be able to explain how she could meet Zeke at school while he was at our house for lunch at the same time."
The principal pursed her lips, suddenly looking slightly irritated while Mr. Connor smiled at her.
"He comes by three or four times a week. The boys are learning for the graduation tests together."
"Ezekiel Tyler? Are we talking about the same boy? Probably this is a misunderstanding. Zeke never showed any interest in graduation, just in causing problems."
Suddenly Mr. Connor's eyes turned icy.
"Well, maybe you should pay more attention to what's going on in your school. Zeke is a smart boy. All he needed was someone to encourage him, to believe in him.
Casey did notice that. And I'm glad he did. Because Zeke turned out to be a good friend, the first who did stand up for him. Though this actually is the job of the teachers, too. Casey and others are bullied at school for ages and you prefer to overlook it. Because the player of the school's team obviously are much more important for the reputation of this school than a straight A student with no interests in sports."
Now the principal seemed to lose even the last composer.
"Oh no, I didn't ..." she stammered.
"Of course, I don't favor any of my students. And ... bullying at my school? I can't believe that anything like this happens; I would know about it."
"Obviously, there is a lot you don't know about."
Mr. Connor got up from his chair, eying her penetrating.
"Well, I guess, it's all said. I would suggest, though, that you better talk with Miss Burke once again before suspending Zeke from school overhasty.
Casey, let's go home; it's almost six o'clock; yI guess your mom will already wait for us. Miss Drake."
He nodded to the principal before leaving the office. Casey followed him quickly, still feeling flustered. What a day!
"Thank you, dad," he finally said while dropping down onto the co-drivers seat of the old Audi.
"For stepping in for Zeke. That was great."
His father eyed him thoughtfully.
"Not as great as what you did," he answered.
"I guess, it wasn't easy to stand up against Miss Burke and the principal. I'm proud of you."
Casey smiled slightly.
"Zeke told me not to do it," he admitted.
"He didn't want me to get roped into this. But that's not right, isn't it? The security agent has led him away from school like a criminal. If this gets around he will lose his scholarship at College. Though he did nothing wrong."
Mr. Connor smiled at his son reassuring.
"We won't let it happen that this will demolish his future. Even if I have to bring in the school authority. It's about time that something changes at Herrington High.
But let us drop this subject for the moment, okay? How about a pizza from Joey's? We could call Zeke and ask him to come by, too."