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“It is wrong to cheat.”
Gentry slouched in his seat, legs spread wide and fists on his stomach as he glanced over at Zach, who was apathetically hunched over his table. He jabbed him in the ribs with his pencil, at which Zach gave him a tired look and two raised eyebrows.
Every year the Principal gave all third period classes a presentation on cheating and gun control.
“Cheating gets you in big trouble,” he emphasized, folding his arms to show that this was a very serious point. His shirt was so starched it seemed to crinkle when he moved, neatly wrinkling under pressure. His somber creased brown pants fell loosely over his legs, but were far from baggy. He was proud that he had never had to iron them, because he always folded them when he came home. Folded them like new. Eventually he hoped to learn how to fold them like they did in the stores. Flawless.
“One time there was a girl, a Senior, who had made it into an Ivy League school. Her future looked very promising; until she cheated on an extra-credit assignment. Since the rubric said cheaters automatically get an F, she failed the course and there was nothing anyone could do about it. Her Ivy League school dropped her as a result of her Senior Transcript, and she spent a week crying in my office. So; do not cheat.”
Zach looked up from the penis he had been crudely sketching on his binder.
“Now. I would also like to cover the zero tolerance policy… no guns, no knives, nothing on that list you have all received. And as for knives, there was once a girl who brought a butterknife to school, and that was marked up onto her permanent record. So absolutely no knives, and definitely no guns.”
Zach raised his hand, and The Principal did his best to ignore it. But Zach ignored that he was being ignored, and asked,
“What about authority? Can’t authority be abused as a weapon?”
“Don’t talk back.”
Gentry eyed Zach’s penis drawing, then leaned over and wrote “BANG” over the tip.