After a typical Currie weekend at home, the school week got off to a fast, and somewhat furious, start.On Monday, the principal called another assembly, but this time during 2nd period.Once everyone had showed up and was seated, he stepped up to the lectern and began to speak.
“I just wanted to inform you about what has happened since the last time we gathered here.Many of the students involved in the incident I mentioned previously have come forward and admitted to what they did.Besides taking responsibility for their actions, they have also apologized to the girl who was the target of their abuse.Tomorrow night, the school board will be holding a special, closed session to discuss the things these students did.They’ll also consider my recommendations for punishment.
“Unfortunately, not all of those involved in this matter have come forward, so their punishments will end up being much more severe.In fact, some of the students that failed to come forward were those responsible for committing some of the most serious offenses.Six of them were arrested by the police over the weekend, and five are currently sitting in jail cells this morning.The sixth was released after his parents put down a substantial bail, because his crimes weren’t as serious as the other five but were still considered to be serious enough to charge him.There are still other individuals that need to be dealt with, so this will be a long process and it will take time for each of the offenders to be brought to justice.”
“That’s all I have to say for now.You are dismissed to go to your 2nd period class for whatever time remains.”
I know I was shocked upon hearing what he had to say, and I could tell the students were as well. They were excitedly chatting amongst themselves as they made their way to class, and it took me a couple of minutes to get my class to settle down once they got to my classroom.
When the 2nd period came to an end, I sat at my desk thinking about something else the principal had mentioned.He said the school board would be meeting in a closed session, so I wondered if Dad might be able to find out about it through his contacts.I say this because I doubt the principal will hold another assembly to let us know what was discussed, and I’d like to find out what happened.
The assembly was also discussed in the faculty lounge when I went there later, and a few of the other teachers had information they’d acquired from their students.It seems the five students who are currently sitting in jail were those who attacked and stripped Tamara during a lunch period.They have been charged with indecent sexual assault and simple assault, and it was explained to me like this:
The indecent sexual assault charge is for removing her clothing to see which body parts she had and groping her genitals; the simple assault is for pulling her out of the bleachers and holding her down on the ground.The boy out on bail used his iPhone to record the entire incident, and then he posted it online. He’s been charged with being an accomplice to the indecent sexual assault, and since Tamara is only 14 and underage, he’s also been charged with the manufacture and distribution of child pornography.I think the video should provide all of the proof the prosecutor will need to convince a jury to convict each of them.
When school ended, Joshie and Benny provided me with much of the same information, which they had heard from their friends, but they delivered it in more graphic and unflattering terms.We all questioned why those guys hadn’t turned themselves in since there was a video of the incident and it was already online.It would have behooved them to take advantage of the offer of leniency, but they must have thought there was some way they’d be able to get away with what they’d done.Unfortunately for them, they now know this had been a tragic miscalculation.
When we got home, I chatted with Dion and Dad about this briefly, and then Dion and I went in to spend time with TJ.He was awake and Wyatt, the twins, and Xander were standing beside the bassinet talking to him.This made us wonder if they had found TJ awake or if they’d awakened him.The point was moot, however, since he was definitely awake, so Dion decided to change his diaper.
“Hey, his pee-pee is just like mine,” squealed Xander when Dion removed the old diaper.
“Yes, we decided to leave him natural like you, me, Benny, and some of your other uncles,” I told him.
When Dion finished changing TJ, we sang and read to him, and then Dion went out to warm up a bottle so I could feed him before we ate.While I was feeding TJ, Dion pulled Danny, Brandon, and Pop aside to let them know we were going to meet after the boys went to bed so we could fill them in about what we’d learned today.
Dinner was fairly quiet tonight, and other than the younger boys telling us about school and their time with TJ, we merely made sure they’d done their homework or would finish it after they ate.As soon as the meal ended, the boys still needing to finish their assignments went off to do that, and the other boys entertained themselves.This continued until we sent the younger boys upstairs to get ready for bed.
When the boys were done with their showers, we went up to tuck them in and say goodnight, and then we met up with the others in the family room to discuss what we’d learned earlier today.We started out by telling the others about the boys who’d been arrested and what they’d been charged with, and then we told them about the closed, special school board session that would be held tomorrow night.
“Do you think you might be able to find out what happens at that meeting?” Dion asked Dad.
“I might.I have contacts that will be in attendance, so I might be able to get them to tell me about some of what happened.I’m sure they won’t be able to give me information about everything that was discussed, but I’m sure there will be some things they can divulge.”
“Good!I can’t wait to hear how it went,” I confirmed.
“What do you think they’ll be doing at this meeting?” Pop asked.
“They’ll probably be deciding on what punishments to give to the students that owned up to what they did, but their offenses weren’t severe enough for the police to arrest them.I expect I’ll be able to find out what punishments the board decides on, although they might not tell me which students were involved.”
Once the meeting ended, Brandon pulled Dion and me aside so he could ask us a question.“Have you filled out the invitations for Wyatt and the twin’s birthday party yet?”
“Yes, I have, but I haven’t mailed them.”
“You need to do that by this weekend so we can finalize our plans.”
“Ok, I’ll make sure to do that.I was surprised when I noticed Wyatt was inviting the same boys that had come to his party last year.”
“The twins did the same thing.I guess those must be the boys they like the most in their grades.”
We all went to bed shortly after we finished our conversation, and other than getting up to give TJ his late-night feeding, it was a very relaxing slumber.
Throughout the following school day, I couldn’t stop thinking about what might be discussed at the school board meeting later.I knew Dad probably wouldn’t be able to find out anything until tomorrow, at the earliest, so this will probably be bugging me for the rest of the week.
I went through the school day on Wednesday about the same way, although this time I couldn’t wait to get home and see if Dad had any information.As soon as we got to the house, I decided to ask him about it.
“Did you learn anything yet?”
“I did, but I’m going to wait and tell all of you about it after the boys are in bed.”
“Can’t you tell me now?”
“You’re as bad as your sons and nephews.You have no patience, but you’ll just have to wait until I tell you with the others.”
I felt bad that Dad had scolded me this way, but he was correct.I was acting like the boys when they pester us about what we’re going to do.I merely licked my wounds and slinked off to join Dion.
Hardly anyone was talking during dinner, which was highly unusual for one of our meals.The boys weren’t telling us about their day or asking us any questions.This was surprising, because there was much more chatter than this at breakfast, when most of us, especially the boys, were still groggy and trying to wake up.I wasn’t sure if anyone other than me noticed this, but no one said anything about it.When we finished the meal, the boys either went off to finish their homework or play.
The boys were still off doing their homework or playing a half hour later when Dad called the rest of us together.I think he was taking pity on me, since he knew I was curious about what went on at the school board meeting.
“I can’t tell you much or give you any names,” he began, “but I can tell you how they decided to handle those who turned themselves in for calling Tamara names or trying to keep her from using the girls’ room.Each person involved in those incidents will now be prohibited from participating in any after school activities, and this includes sports, cheerleading, clubs, and attending the prom.”
“Whoa, I bet not being able to attend the prom was the worst thing they could have done to the girls involved,” I gasped.
“Yes, I’m sure it is, but I also found out the penalties for those who didn’t turn themselves in for doing those same things.Not only will they face the same penalties as the others, but they’ll also have to serve a two-month in-house suspension.They will be spending the entire time in the same room, which will be monitored by a couple of very strict retired teachers and a couple of aides.The teachers will be there to help them with their studies, one for math and science and the other for English and Social Studies since they’ll still have to keep up with their peers.They’ll also be given the option of bringing their own lunch each day and then eating it in the same room, or the cafeteria will prepare a bag lunch for them, for a fee of course.This means they won’t be offered the same hot lunch as the rest of the students.”
“What if they have to use the toilet?” asked Dion.
“It is my understanding that the room they’ll be using is in the old wing of the high school and it was originally the faculty room.As the school grew, it became too small, a larger faculty room was put in the plans for the new addition and this room was just used for storage.Since the room used to be a faculty room, it also includes a small, private toilet facility, which they can use without leaving the room, so they’ll be in there all day long during their entire suspension.”
“I bet they’ll be sorry for not owning up to what they did,” stated Dion.
“I’m sure you’re correct about that,” agreed Dad.“And I was told there are others who pushed her around in the hallways, knocked her books from her hands, and otherwise physically harassed her. They will be facing the ban on after school activities, and those turning themselves in will also have a two-month in-house suspension, while those not turning themselves in will face the after-school ban and a four-month in-house suspension.”
“I’m beginning to wonder if they’ll have enough space in the room for everyone,” joked Brandon.
“Or enough team members remaining to play some of those sports,” added Danny.
“The room might be a little cramped, but they’ll manage,” Dad replied. “It’s possible they might have to use an adjoining room for the overflow crowd, and it’s also possible they won’t have enough players left for some of the sports teams.The school board, however, has taken this into consideration.It is my understanding that the coaches have agreed to forfeit any games, matches, or meets where that is the case, and in return, the school has agreed to pay them their entire coach’s salary for the season.”
“It’s a shame it got to this point,” said Brandon.
“Yes, it is,” Dad agreed, “and I was told there will be more arrests coming as well.Once again, I don’t know the names of those involved, but I was told that two to four more boys had grabbed Tamara inappropriately at different times and have yet to be dealt with.”
“Those must be the boys who grabbed her genitals saying they wanted to see ‘if she had a cock or a cunt’,” I added, “or those fondling her breasts.”
“If that’s the case,” reasoned Danny, “they’ll probably be charged with indecent sexual assault as well.”
“Yes, I’m sure you’re correct,” confirmed Dad.
“And it’s exactly what they deserve,” commented Pop.
“You now know everything I was told by my contacts, but please don’t share this information with anyone else until it becomes public knowledge.If you do, I’m sure it will be tracked back to me and then my contacts won’t be willing to share information with me in the future.”
“Ok, we won’t say anything,” we all agreed.
When Benny, Joshie, and I arrived at school on Thursday, the students were buzzing about something, but I had no idea what.That was until I got to the faculty lounge and one of the other teachers told me what was up.
“Two more of our students were arrested and charged with indecent sexual assault!” she exclaimed breathlessly.
“That brings the total number to eight so far,” I responded.
“And all because they were unwilling to accept a transgender girl,” she muttered.
“It’s a pity, but they should have known their actions would elicit a response.”
“And I’d be willing to bet that they wish they’d owned up to it now.They might have still been arrested, but I’m certain their punishments would have been less severe.”
“Yes, I agree.”
I wasn’t sure if this meant everyone involved in harassing Tamara had been dealt with now, but if not, it should be most of them.The only thing left would be the trials for those arrested if they still wanted to roll the dice and go before a jury.If they’re smart, they might get a reduced sentence by cooperating and accepting a plea agreement.I wonder how long it will take before this is all wrapped up and comes to an end.
When we went home after school, we had the boys work on their homework while the others played, and when Brandon and Danny arrived home, they cornered Dion and me in the living room.
“A couple of weeks ago, we told Tristan he could invite Revin and two other friends to his birthday party.We limited him to two friends because we’ll be limiting Wyatt and the twins to two friends each for their party.”
“Damn, I forgot all about Tristan’s party,” I admitted.“I guess my mind has been completely absorbed with what’s been going on at school, so I apologize.His party is this Saturday, right?”
“Yes, and I can understand why you forgot about it, so don’t worry.I’ve told the other parents they could drop their sons off at the bowling alley at 2:00 on Saturday, and then we’d take them back to our house for the party after they’d each bowled two games.I felt Tristan, Revin, and the other two could bowl on one lane, and Wyatt, Xander, and the twins could bowl on the lane next to them.”
“Ok, did you ask Benny and Joshie if they wanted to do this too?”
“I did, and they said they weren’t interested in bowling with the younger boys.I guess now that they’re in high school they don’t want to ruin their image at a birthday party for a younger brother or cousin out in public.”
“I see.Do you want us to pick up the cake?”
“No, Pop is going to do that for us, because we thought you two might be willing to keep score on the other lane and help that group learn what to do, while Brandon and I helped Tristan and his friends.”
“Ok, we can do that, but we’ll have to check with Dad to make sure he doesn’t mind watching TJ while we’re gone.”
“I’m sure he won’t mind.”
“I know, but I still want to ask him.”
“Are you going to have anything other than a cake?” asked Dion.
“We’ll all eat before we go, but I thought we’d have pizza when we got back as well.We know boys this age are always hungry, especially after physical activity, so we’ll get enough pizzas so they can all have a couple of slices each, including Benny and Joshie.”
“And who will get those?”
“Pop has agreed to pick those up for us as well.”
After we put the younger boys in bed, we came down to speak with Dad to make sure he wouldn’t mind watching TJ on Saturday afternoon, while we were at the bowling alley.
“Of course, I don’t mind,” he replied.“You should have known that already.”
“I did, but I didn’t want to take advantage of you by not asking.”
“I understand and appreciate your thoughtfulness, but I’m fine with doing this.”
Shortly after our discussion ended, we all got ready for bed and turned in.As I drifted off, I wondered if there would be any new revelations at school tomorrow.
I’d forgotten all about that as we were making sure the boys were getting ready for school the next morning, and then after dropping the younger boys off at their schools, the rest of us made our way to the high school.
The day went fairly normally until about fifteen minutes before the school day was to come to an end.That’s when the principal made another announcement.
“May I have your attention please? I just wanted to inform you that those admitting to verbally abusing Tamara, but not physically assaulting her, have been banned from all after school activities, like the others.We’ll now be contacting the parents of those who did the same things but didn’t admit to it, and their punishment will be much more severe.
“In addition to that, earlier this week the police arrested two more students who were involved with physically assaulting Tamara, and they’re sitting in jail along with the others arrested previously.Two others have also been arrested, but since they turned themselves in and admitted to their crimes, they’ve been released to the custody of their parents, awaiting trial.
“In accordance with the Student Code of Conduct, I wanted to inform you that the students who have come forward to admit their violations have received punishments that may include more than just being banished from all after school activities.Those who have not come forward yet will be given more severe punishments by the School Board and/or Civil Authorities.Our primary goal is to be more civil and respectful of each other.May this unfortunate chapter in our school’s history serve as a learning moment for each of you.”
Once the announcement ended, there were still a couple of minutes that the students could chat with one another before the final bell rang.After the students left the building, I remained at my desk thinking about everything I’d learned so far about those doing these things to Tamara when Joshie and Benny came racing into the room.
“Whoa, what’s up, guys?”
“Did you hear the announcement?”
“Of course, I did!I’m not deaf!But I’m surprised you came here and didn’t wait until I got to the SUV.”
“That’s because we found out the names of some of the boys arrested,” explained Benny, and then he told me who they were.
“Aren’t those boys on the football team?” I asked.
“Yep, they’re all starters and most of them also wrestle and play baseball or lacrosse too.”
“I just heard this afternoon that two more boys have been arrested, so there have been ten arrests so far.Do you know how many of them play sports as well?”
“We heard about that too and know at least seven of them are on the football team, but I think the others also play sports.”
“I guess they won’t be doing that this year.”
“And four of them are seniors, so they won’t be getting any college scholarships for sports either.”
“It certainly looks that way, so they should have thought about it before they did those things to Tamara.”
Now that they’d told me this, we headed out to meet the SUV when Dion picked us up.
Later that night, after the younger boys went to bed, they told Danny, Brandon, Dad, and Pop the same thing they’d told me, and then we discussed it.
“I guess this might mean they’re a giant step closer to not having enough players to field every sport’s team this year,” stated Dad.
“Yep, the arrests take a bunch of them off the football team, along with some other teams, and we don’t know who else won’t be able to play sports this year cuz of the other punishments,” Joshie agreed.
We talked about it a little longer, and then we all got ready for bed.Since we had Tristan’s birthday party the next day, we wanted to get a decent night’s sleep beforehand.
Once we at breakfast, Dion and I made sure all of the boys picked out appropriate clothes for the party after lunch, and then we let them do as they wished until lunchtime.As soon as Danny and Brandon arrived home from work, they cleaned up quickly and changed, and then we all sat down to eat lunch. After we finished, the boys got changed for the party.
“If you don’t mind,” Danny said while we were eating, “would you drive the younger boys to the bowling alley for us?We’ll take Tristan and pick up Revin, and then we’ll bring them and Tristan’s other two friends back here afterward.”
“Sure, that’s fine with us,” Dion agreed.
“And I’ll take care of the other things,” said Pop.“Just call and let me know when you’re just about done.”
“We certainly will,” Brandon agreed.
We arrived at the bowling alley prior to the other boys, and then they came rushing in our direction as soon as they entered the building.We helped each one select the correct size bowling shoes and find an 8 or 10-pound bowling ball that fit his hand, and then we got ready to begin.We attempted to instruct them on how to bowl as well, since none of our sons had done this previously, but that didn’t go for the other two.
“I know how to do this,” said Brody.“I’ve gone bowling with my parents before.”
“I know how to bowl too,” added Chris.Regardless of their expertise, we still worked with our sons as they got underway.
I won’t say it was the best bowling I’ve ever seen, although each of the boys had a moment or two of glory.That might have been getting a strike or picking up a spare, and one of them even converted a small split.No matter how low their final scores were, the boys seemed to have fun, and that’s all that mattered.
When we were done, Danny paid for everything first, and then he called to order the pizzas.He also called Pop to let him know he could pick up the cake and pizzas.The rest of us had the boys put their bowling balls back on the racks and return their bowling shoes to the front counter so they could put on their own shoes.Once those things were taken care of, we had the boys follow us out to the SUVs.
As soon as we got to the house, we led the boys inside and Pop had the pizzas and cake sitting on the dining room table.We sent the boys to wash up, and then we told them to grab a plate and a couple slices of pizza, while Brandon gave them whichever drink they wanted.
Aunt Sally, Aunt Mary, Uncle Steve, and Richard were also there, but they didn’t want any pizza.They had been chatting with Dad and Pop while they were waiting for us to arrive, and now they wished Tristan a Happy Birthday.
We instructed the boys to hold onto their plates when they finished their pizza, and Brandon lit the large ‘one’ and ‘two’ on top of Tristan’s cake.After we sang Happy Birthday to him and he’d blown out the candles, Brandon cut the cake and gave a slice to everyone, along with their choice of ice cream.As soon as Tristan finished eating his cake and ice cream, he opened his presents.
After he unwrapped each one, he would show it around and then thank the person or persons who gave it to him.When he finished doing that, he asked his friends what they wanted to do next.
“Can we take your puppies outside and play with them?” asked Brody.
“Sure, we can do that,” agreed Tristan.
“Do you have a ball for kickball or a wiffle ball and bat we can use?” followed Chris.
“We’ve got both, but we can’t do those things when the puppies are outside,” responded Tristan.“They’ll get in the way and try to bite the balls.”
“K, then let’s play with them first,” agreed Chris, “and then we can play one of the other games.You’ve got enough people here so we can do that.”
“K,” agreed Tristan.
After playing with Dobby and Flash for a while, the boys decided to play kickball.They took Dobby and Flash back inside the house, which neither dog appreciated, because they whined and barked once the boys went back outside.This time they were carrying the bases and the kickball with them.
The boy arranged the bases in the yard, and Joshie and Benny agreed to play too, but only as the pitcher and catcher.They would rotate when the other team came to bat, to give each side a couple more defensive players since there were only four boys on a team.Once again, this wasn’t the greatest game ever played, but they all had fun.Xander was shaky at first, since he’d never really played before.He never wanted to take the chance, because he thought running around or trying to kick a ball might cause him to urinate a little, and he didn’t want the other kids to see wet spots on his clothes.Now that this was no longer a concern, due to the absorbent briefs, he gave it a try.
When the game ended, Brandon drove Revin, Brody, and Chris home, and Tristan went with them.The other boys went to play in the tree house, and while they were doing those things, we sat down to chat with Aunt Sally, Aunt Mary, Uncle Steve, and Richard.
“Tristan’s friends seemed very pleasant,” stated Aunt Mary.
“Yes, they are really nice boys,” agreed Danny.
“And this was another very successful birthday party,” added Aunt Sally.
“And I was impressed that Xander was willing to try each of those activities today,” stated Richard.“His old school told me he wouldn’t ever participate in PE class, due to his problem, so it was nice to hear that he’d tried bowling and also participated in the kick ball game.”
“Yes, he’s coming out of his shell and it all went very well,” concurred Danny.
“And I think his confidence is growing,” added Dion.
“Speaking of Xander, have you thought about when you want to hold the adoption ceremony for him and TJ?” asked Uncle Steve.
“Brandon and I haven’t asked Xander if he wants to be adopted yet, although we assume he will.”
“And it can’t happen in October,” I answered, “because there’s just too much going on.We have Wyatt and the twins’ birthdays, along with preparing for the Halloween Haunted House.”
“What about November then?”
“Only if it takes place before the end of the month, because of Dion’s birthday and Thanksgiving,” I stated.
Uncle Steve quickly glanced at the calendar on his iPhone.“What about Friday, November 8th then?”
“Yes, that would work,” I answered.
“That will be fine,” agreed Danny with more certainty.
“Ok, then I’ll put you down for 5:30.That will be after normal court hours, but it will give Danny and Brandon a chance to get there after work.I’m sure my stenographer and bailiff won’t mind staying a little later, because they like the adoption ceremonies as much as I do.”
“Ok, then that’s what we’ll plan on,” Danny, Dion, and I agreed.
When Brandon got back, we informed him about Uncle Steve’s offer and he also thought it would work out very well, so the date was confirmed.We then said goodbye to the others as they headed home, and then I went out to help Dad fix dinner.