This incident is based on a true story (like many events in this story.) The form and account are real, but with details censored/altered for protection. Although I don't name names, I heard and watched many of these events unfold while I was in high school. I wrote them down in a notebook that I carried everywhere. I also spent a lot of time in the office :)!
At that moment, Ms.Nasty walked by. She stopped dead in her tracks, pointed to the package and snapped,
“Pecan pie for the office.” Replied Gentry.
“From them.” Gentry replied, motioning to the family.
Gentry did so, carefully untying the blue ribbon and opening the white box. The pie lay in the package, freshy cut and glazed.
“She said it’s for everyone.” He added, politely.
Delilah gazed at the family, specifically at Zach, then stormed over to Delilah.
“Do you know why your son is here, Mrs.Tyler?”
Delilah eyed her firmly, and clipped, “Yes, I do.”
“He got into a fight with a police officer.”
“Wasn’t much of a fight.” Zach interjected, then promptly quieted down when his father rested a hand on his shoulder.
“We are both adults, perhaps you can appreciate this school’s concern about your son’s increasingly provocative behavior.”
“Which behavior would that be?”
Gentry leaned on the desk, his eyes shifting from one party to another. He’d seen Nasty do this before, cringing whenever the unsuspecting parent erupted into apologies. No one wanted trouble with school authorities who had so much influence in the office…
“You might not know it,” said Ms.Nasty, her eyebrows rising over her glasses, lowering her voice discreetly as she said, “your son comes to school in baggy pants and clothes that aren’t weather appropriate, such as wearing baggy clothes in the summer. Are you aware of this?”
“Yes.” Delilah’s tone remained the same, “I don’t like his clothes, either. But he says they keep him warm and make him feel ready to take on the day. What coffee or drugs are to some people, baggy pants are for him.”
“Well,” Ms.Nasty scoffed, putting down her coffee cup, “those clothes might be appropriate for a mall or an arcade, but not a work environment. Why do you let him go out like that?”
“Because he made a valid point. We reason things out at home, and Johan and I have always encouraged Zach to speak his mind.”
Ms.Nasty stared at her in disbelief, and then snapped, “Whatever point he made, school is not a home and those clothes are not appropriate for a work environment. Students and teachers have come in to complain… your son’s clothes violate the dress code.”
“There is no dress code,” replied Johan, “and he does his work.”
“And if any students or teachers have an issue with that,” added Delilah, “I’d like you to bring them here the way you brought my son.”
“Those clothes are not appropriate for school.” Ms.Nasty raved, her eyes bulging, “Baggy pants are for gangsters, not schoolchildren! If he were my son, I’d burn them!”
Delilah eyed her firmly, staying silent for a good moment before replying:
“Well, then I’m glad he’s not your son.”
Gentry stole a slice, sliding it into his mouth before anyone saw. Some days… well. His parents never did that. Some days he wished that, just once, they would have. Just once.
“What you’re doing is child abuse!” Ms.Nasty yelled, so the whole office could hear, “Those clothes are not weather appropriate!”
A few of the secretaries and office personnel stopped, shocked to silence and exchanging look. They never went against one of their own, even…
“Zach, get up.” Delilah said stiffly, “We’re leaving.”