high school rebellion

Unilateral Solidarity

Unilateral Solidarity
A Play With Two Characters 
by Biff Gladman

Act 1

Scene 1

Rector’s office in secondary school.

The rector, in his fifties, is seated at desk, consulting papers.

There is a knock at the door.

RECTOR               (without looking up) Come in.

Sixth year pupil, Henry McCorquodale, 17 years old, enters room.

Rector still does not look up.

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The Turning of the Tides

As soon as the words had left his mouth, we knew they could not go unchallenged.

We knew somebody would have to do something and it would probably have to be us.

On that Tuesday afternoon, Mike Gilbert had made his entrance shortly after one o’clock. We rose to our feet and he nodded, “Good afternoon, class.”

“Good Afternoon, Sir!”

“Sit,” he motioned whilst speeding between the desks, distributing printed sheets of paper.

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A Dressing Down

Looking back, secondary school rules on dress were fairly relaxed when I started there in 1989. Ties, although encouraged, were an endangered species, and dark-blue blazers reached extinction some time during my second year.  Trainers and “T-shirts with slogans” were severely frowned upon; jeans banned outright.

“You’ve got the biggest bit.”  My brother Andrew measured the chocolate Swiss roll with his eyes. “Put some back.”

I stacked the three sections on top of each other. “We’ve all got exactly the same size.  Stop whining.”

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Institutional Education

“Stupid people” Craig said, as he sat in the driving seat of my driving school car. This was one of my favourite sayings.

“Why do you say that?”

“I was walking down the school corridor on my way out for my lesson, when the Head master walks out and stands in front of me, ‘where are you going’ he asks me’, ‘going for a driving lesson’ I tell him. ‘You are not allowed to go for a driving lesson during school time, I am here to stop you leaving, you will have to call him and cancel it’.

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Accidental Rebel

Mrs. Green gives me that smile, except it isn’t really a smile. The corners of her mouth turn upwards but the rest of her face keeps a steely expression. No, this definitely isn’t a smile. This is a message, a message that says ‘I’m watching you’. 

For the last five minutes I’ve shared a desk with Mrs. Green, the Home Economics teacher. I’m told this is for bad behaviour, or so she says – I know she’s wrong. We share a desk out of boredom, my boredom. 

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