Boston Public
Chapter Twenty-Eight

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Rave against the machine

Delineation Alley, the next day. Steven flags down Dick Teachie and yells at him. "Since when do we teach drug paraphernalia in the classroom?" He explains the situation with Brooke. Teachie counters, "Look, I never condoned drug usage. My message was prevention." Steven is not having the equivocation. "Then your message got lost! You will not. Ever. Recommend drug paraphernalia. Is that understood?" Teachie agrees. That out of the way, Steven asks, "Son, is it your opinion…that Brooke is using?" Dick Teachie says no, that is not his opinion, and Steven nods with cautious relief.

"You called us in here to defend Marshall Fulton?" asks Hysteri-Dad, some incredulity creeping into his inflection. His wife sits by him silently as Ronnie addresses them both. "We can sanction him. Action short of a criminal conviction. Again, I am not condoning statutory rape. But sometimes we need to exercise a little discretion." Hysteri-Dad interrupts to point out that statutory laws exist specifically to prevent the exercise of discretion. Because EVERYONE'S A LAWYER. Then he says, "You know, when my emotions had calmed down, I said to myself I think precisely what you're feeling. This is overkill. Let his parents deal with him, just as we dealt with Sarah. Let the school deal with it. But after talking to both his parents, and the school, I see that nobody is dealing with it! Everybody shrugs, and says, aw, come on, kids today, teenagers will be teenagers. Sarah is fifteen. He is eighteen. One of the reasons she had sex with him? Everybody else is doing it. That was her response. Ms. Cooke, nobody is really dealing with it. So, I've decided to push this." Ronnie says, okay, fine, but she's going to fight for Marshall. Hysteri-Dad gets up to go, with Silent Wife in tow, and says that there's nothing Ronnie can do. Ronnie, THE LAWYER, says that, in fact, the laws that govern consent are under review, or whatever, and the case could be made that a fifteen-year-old actually can consent to sex, or something, and blah dee blah, and IF YOU WANT TO WRITE ANOTHER SHOW ABOUT THE LAW, JUST DO IT -- STOP MASQUERADING AS SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO WRITE ABOUT TEACHERS! "With a challenge comes publicity…I'm not sure that you want to put Sarah through that." Hysteri-Dad is all, "You're threatening us? What about the publicity for a teacher who takes the side of a statutory rapist?" She's all, "It's an enormous professional risk, but I can always fall back on the law career." She wants them to focus on helping Sarah, not punishing Marshall. "The two are not mutually exclusive!" "I'm warning you that they may very well be!" "This IS a threat then!" "I'm fighting for Marshall!" FFFFRRAAAARRR. Silent Wife says, "Awkward pause."

Sanctum. Steven and X -- that is, the X, not X -- are yelling at each other. "Brooke doesn't do drugs!" (That is, X.) "She goes to raves! She told me you know she goes to raves!" "Not on weekdays!" "But you let her go on weekends!?" "The place she goes, there's chaperones, and security, not alcohol…" "But drugs!?" "Not supposed to be!" "But there are!" ENOUGH WITH THE YELLING! Phew. "She had a kit to help her friends detect X." "I will talk to her about that." "From where, Pittsburgh? That's where you were last night!" "And I'll bet you were right here!" "You know what --?" "I do! I'm leaving!" X tries to head for the door, but Brooke comes in first, trapping them all in the room together. In fact, Brooke says she wants to talk here, not later at home. "I want to have a conversation with all of us in the same room. Is it too much to ask that all of us be in the same room, Daddy?" Her parents fall in line, so The Harper Image gives a little speech: "I don't drink. I don't do drugs. I'm sorry I went partying last night, but you know what? It was my idea. Ty didn't even want to go. I had to beg her to sneak out because I…I hate staying over at friends' houses. You know why? When I'm at a home where the parents are together, and it's…it's a home! And it's, it's torture, I can't…I actually seek out friends whose parents are divorced. And I'll tell you something else. Sometimes, I think about doing drugs. Or getting arrested. Or when I stole that stupid goat…part of it? Was to get caught, get in trouble, force you two to be in the same room to deal, and I'm sorry for that. But sometimes I hate you guys for being apart." Brooke gets all teary. X gets teary. Steven says, "Honey, I'm sorry. I think we all need to talk more often about stuff like this." Brooke says she doesn't, like, expect them to, like, get back together, or anything, but "if we could just do something as a family once in a while. If we could just do anything."

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Boston Public

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