Boston Public
Chapter Thirty-Seven

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Today's word of the day is...

Sanctum Stevenorium. Steven is instructing Dick Teachie to back off his current subject. Very calmly, he's saying, "The word stirs up too much hatred. And, no offense to your gifts as a teacher, you don't have the answers on this one." Teachie says teaching is about asking questions. Steven tells him not to ask this particular question. Teachie objects to the shutting down of dialogue. Steven is less calm now. "Drop this line of discussion in your classroom." Teachie would at least like a satisfactory explanation. "You want a reason? Here's the reason. I'm the principal, and I'm telling you to stop." What if I don't? "I will fire you." Teachie is skeptical, but Steven doesn't blink.

Once again, we're warned about the coarse racial slurs.

In the Un-Geon, Ronnie gets the lowdown on Natalie's life. She's been living on the street for about a year, though sometimes they get to stay in a motel. Ronnie tells Natalie that she could go to a foster home. "That's not an option. My brother is in a foster home, I never get to see him. Don't talk to me about foster homes." Ronnie wants to know how this happened. "It just did, like it does for a lot of people. My mom lost her job, and we couldn't pay rent. She got into an argument with the people we were sharing a house with, and they kicked us out." And so on. Sounds like the answer is "my mom screwed up several times in large ways," not "it just did." Ronnie wants to know why Natalie's mom seems a little odd. "Simple schizophrenia." But Natalie doesn't want anyone to know, and says that she'll be fine once she can graduate and get a job.

Somewhere, in some room, Dick Teachie is talking to a union rep. "Trust me, Danny, you'll lose." Apparently, this guy has been a union rep for a long time. We know this because he looks around for The Exposition Fairy, and, not spotting her, says, "I've been a union rep for a long time. If the school fires you for using that word, I don't care what the context, they will be upheld." Then he gives a bunch of examples of people using the word in relatively innocuous ways, and getting fired. "The context always gets lost in the firestorm. The uproar will be that you used it." Dick Teachie says, "We're teachers for God's sake." I'm not sure what he means by that. Maybe he's just trying to remind us that this isn't a show about lawyers. Union Rep says that schools always come down to politics, and suggests that Teachie choose another topic: "Something lighter. Like the death penalty."

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Boston Public

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