Continuation of Day 33.
Ted stood staring at the door, his phone held in his right hand. Everyone else in the hallway stood watching Ted. Sally stepped back from the door slightly, concerned that somewhere there was a rule forbidding what they were doing. A security guard who had just walked up was speaking with one of the students at the edge of the circle.
“Hello?” Ted said, when his phone rang through. “Mr. Iverson?”
“Yes,” the voice at the other end of the call said.
“Mr. Iverson, this is Ted Lyson. I am out in the hallway.”
“I’m out here with the rest of the class. We can’t get into the classroom. You must have locked the door.”
“It was probably an accident, but if you open up, we’ll come in and you can get class started. If you want.”
“Actually, Mr. Lyson, I don’t want. Locking the door was not an accident, and if you are not happy in the hallway, I suggest you go to guidance where you and your classmates can sign up for another course.”
“But we don’t need another course. We are juniors and we have to take English 11 and that’s the course that we’re in. When the door isn’t locked, I mean.”
Raft had turned to watch the security guard on the outer edge of the student circle, for it had been his experience that whenever security showed up, they usually wanted to talk with him. But in this case, without calling Raft over, the security guard turned and headed for the office. Raft turned back to Ted and said, “Ask him why the door is closed. Ask him what’s going on in there.”
Before Ted could pass that question on, Mr. Iverson, who had heard the question, said, “If that’s Mr. Raft, congratulate him for me on finding the school today. And tell him that I’m just in here catching up on some grading, and that I intend to continue to do that without unlocking the door.”
“Can you do that?” Ted asked. “Can you just lock out a class whenever you feel like it?”
“Actually, I don’t consider you my class anymore. If you remember, last week I discussed in class my concern that no one seems to care about an academic class the way the do about athletics, about band and theatre, or about the robotics club. As you may also remember, I said that one reason for the difference might be that all those other activities have to be earned–students have to apply and compete for slots. Do you remember that?”
“You said that maybe students would care more about English if they had to apply and work hard to get into class the way they do football and theatre.”
“And you told us all that if we wanted to stay in class, we would have to go into an online site you’d set up and apply.”
“That’s right. No one did.”
“No one thought you were serious.”
“What do you think now?”
Before Ted could answer, Sally whispered to him, “What is going on in there?”
Ted covered his phone with his hand and said, “He’s being crazy.”
“I think I’ll break down the door,” Raft said as, down the hall, an assistant principal appeared, with the security guard by his side, both heading toward the cluster of students.