Miss Stern glared at the chubby boy. “Your father hasn’t been a pupil at this school for thirty years, Cameron. It was your locker that was stuffed full of…of…adult magazines. Not his. He doesn’t have one.”
The boy shuffled his feet. “Yeah, but they’re me dad’s. He don’t know how to use the internet. I didn’t know they were there.”
Miss Stern rolled her eyes. “You’re thirteen years old. Old enough to take responsibility for what’s behind a door with your name on it. You’re the first to speak in every class you’re in so don’t tell me you’re not old enough to charge five quid for a way around parental internet blockers.”
“That’s not fair.” The boy sounded indignant. “Now you’re saying things about me dad. I love me dad. And anyway, they’re only four fifty.”
“I don’t care how much you charge for them.” She held up a hand to stop the next protest. “Or how much your dad charges for them. Look, in last week’s economics class, you were the first to speak up to say profiteering’s immoral. That was the word you used. Immoral. So it seems you’re a hypocrite as well as a pornographer.”
The boy’s face was closed. He looked determined to give no further answer.
Miss Stern tried another tack. “It wouldn’t be so bad if you and your little friends had the sense to keep it to yourselves. But some of them got talking about it on Facebook. I’d have thought that at your age, you’d have more sense than to trust the internet. Of course it was only a matter of time before it leaked back to the parents. Now there’s so many of them outside the headmistress’s office that it’s practically a demonstration calling for your expulsion.”
The boy looked up at her. Perhaps she was getting through to him.
“If I were you,” Miss Stern adopted the tone she used to give out homework. “I’d think of something better than ‘they’re me dad’s’ to say about it. So take a deep breath and dig into whatever it is you dig into when you’re being mouthy in class.”
The boy took the advised deep breath. “Well Miss, perhaps I handled it badly.”
Miss Stern nodded with approval. “That’s a good start. We’ll get you through this yet.”
It’s conceivable that this may have been inspired by recent news.