DON’T BE SQUARE
Pelham K. Mead III
Based on the novel, “The Junior High.”
TV Pilot Script for,
Do not Be Square.
(Adapted from the Novel,
“The Junior High, by Dr.
Pelham Mead III, 2012,
This movie script comes from personal experience teaching in a Junior High during the 1960’s and 1970’s during turbulent times in America. The story follows three young male teachers who were leaders among their peers and well-liked by their students. John Carucci, my best friend, died early at age 44 from a heart attack after playing golf. I was supposed to play with John that day, but I had to catch up on my Doctoral Thesis. This story tells how outgoing and humorous John was and how he affected everyone’s lives. He was the PA announcer in the morning with funny nicknames for all the teachers. He was also a Social Studies teacher who included enactments in his classes to help students visualize events in American History. He became the Football coach and was the Director of the Teen Center on Friday nights. John was involved in every aspect of school life. The second teacher was Rick Knapp, a born athlete, who played Baseball at Syracuse University in New York. Rick and I formed the Kakiat Junior High ski club. I changed the name to Cucamonga Junior high so as not to get sued by any former teachers or administrators. John’s alias in the story is John Cardone and Rick’s alias is Rick Runner.
Lastly, I was a Health Education teacher and Physical Education teacher. I had two certifications in two different departments. Physical Education was my main subject and I taught four PE classes a day and one Health class. It was my destiny to become the Gymnastic coach for both the boys and girls after the first year of teaching 1967-68.
There was a lot of humor, drama and racial discrimination in the 1960’s which I spell out quite clearly. Despite that the three of us rose above the petty racial problems to become model teachers for the students. This is the true story based on my life as a teacher.
MAIN OFFICE OF CUCAMONGA JUNIOR HIGH-DAY.
It is the typical start to a Junior high school day in
upstate New York in 1967. The speaker on the intercom during
homeroom is John Cardone(23), Social Studies teacher. John is
a one of a kind character and one of the three main
characters of this story. He is married with one infant
daughter, and he just graduated from College the spring
before. John should have been a radio announcer in another
life. He talks like Robin Williams in the movie “Good Morning
Vietnam,” by exaggerating the Goooood Morning introduction to
the morning announcements. John is slightly balding at age 23
and stands 5 ft. 10 inches tall. He is always cracking jokes
and making up nicknames for fellow teachers. His students
love him and he is already in his first year of teaching a
very popular teacher among his peers.
Gooood Morrrring Cucamonga Junior
High school. Here are the morning
announcements. On the Jewish
holidays this fall school will be
closed. Coach Bill Medley has asked
me to announce that Fall Cross
Country Track is now accepting new
runners that want to try out. Cross
country runners run one mile on the
Junior High level. In high school
they run two miles. If you are
interested see Coach Medley. Here
is a note from the Guidance
department. All changes in class
schedules must be completed by the
end of the week. It looks like it
is going to be another beautiful
cool fall day today in Highland
Falls New York, so dress warmly
when going out for the Physical
Education classes. This is Johnny
C. Signing off for today reminding
you, “Don’t Be Square.”
INT. BUSINESS EDUCATION CLASSROOM- DAY
The school bell rings and students begin to enter into
Business class 210 on the second floor of Cucamonga Junior
High School. The teacher is Mr. RALPH NEWTON(60s), early
60s,, a grey haired, thin build, Business Education teacher.
He stands in the doorway smiling at the students as they
enter. Ralph is an ‘Old School’ teacher who is slow, and
methodical with his students. He follows the textbook exactly
with his New York Brooklyn accent, and expressions like ‘yous
guys.’ He is dressed in a white shirt, tie and brown slacks
with dress shoes.
Suddenly, an Assistant Principal, SAM KELP(50S),short stocky,
crew cut hair style appears at the classroom door. SAM is a
career assistant principal having been passed over for
Principal several times. After a short Hello with RALPH he
walks into the classroom.
Good morning Mr. Newton, how are
you doing today?
You’re here again? You evaluated me
the beginning of the month, and SUE
BLACKBERG,30s, the other assistant
Principal, came in last week to
evaluate me. I have tenure and
there should only be one evaluation
a year.(Showing a distressed face)
Well, we felt there was a need for
a follow-up, since your previous
evaluations had to many “needs to
It seems to me you are exceeding
your authority as assistant
Principal in over-evaluating a
tenured teacher in just one month.
You are entitled to your opinion
Ok, class lets sit down in your
assigned seats. Take out your
textbook, and your homework. If you
remember your assignment was to set
up a small company called the
Cucamonga Pet Feed Store. Your were
to set up a budget, and starting
inventory based on the numbers
provided in your textbook. Billy
how much did you provide for grain
for horses and goats?
BILL GOLDBERG (13)
$5,000 dollars Mr. Newton.
That is right BILL(13). Good job.
SUZY(13) can you tell me how many
bales of hay you are projecting to
sell this month in your store?
SUZY SMITZ (13)
(SUZY is a small 13 year old blond
with a pony tail and rimless
glasses) I anticipate that with
$3,000 in hay bales purchased that
I will have to sell 60 bales of hay
at $50 dollars a piece.
Well, there is a problem Suzy. If
you buy the hay for $3,000 and you
sell 60 bales of hay that will give
you $3,000 back. Where is the
I do not know, Mr. Newton
Does anyone else have an idea how
to make a profit on the hay bales
if you paid $3,000 for 60 bales of
ROGER WHITE (13)
(Raising his hand) (Roger is a
nerd, tall 5’9” with light brown
hair cut short) Just add 50% profit
to each bale of hay as a profit
margin, so instead of selling each
bale for $50 (what you paid for the
bale) you add $25 dollars per bale.
So what would the profit be Roger?
ROGER WHITE (13)
I figure 60 bales of hay at $75
each would equal $4,500 total or
$1500 in profit on the hay sales.
That is correct Roger, nice work.
Does everyone understand that you
have to make a profit to stay in
business? Are there any questions?
Excuse me Mr. Newton what does
selling Hay have to do with
Excuse me, I don’t understand your
question. What do you mean Business
Well, these students are obviously
not farmers. Why are they working
on a business problem for a farmer?
Why not a gas station or a movie
Because that is the scenario the
text book provides.
Oh, I see you could not modify the
text book scenario to apply to
I don’t see how it makes a
difference. A profit for a business
is the same regardless whether it
is for a farmer or a movie owner.
I beg to differ with you Mr.
Newton. Perhaps if you were more up
to date with your examples the more
students would be signing up for
Business Education classes instead
of signing up for Yearbook instead.
Well I (suddenly Ralph’s face looks
distorted. He pauses and He reaches
for his heart with a gesture of
pain on his face, and falls down on
Oh my God, I think he is having a
heart attack. Do something Mr.
Someone run to the Nurse quickly
and tell them Mr. Newton fell down
and is not breathing.
I’ll run and get the Nurse.
(Sam never gets out of his chair to
check on Mr. Newton) Everyone stay
in your seat. The Nurse will be
here shortly, and she will know
what to do.
Muriel Watson, School Nurse’s office is two classrooms away
from room 210 and the Nurse is there in minutes.
(School nurse)(Muriel wears the
white uniform of a Nurse, she has
brown hair with a little bit of
grey showing, she wears glasses
with dark rims, and is slightly
overweight at 5’6” tall) What
happened Mr. Kelp?
He was teaching and all of a sudden
got dizzy, grabbed his chest, and
fell to the ground. I think he may
have had a heart attack?
Let me check his vital signs. I am
not getting a pulse. He isn’t
breathing. I am going to have to
call for an ambulance. Meanwhile, I
will give him CPR to see if that
Do what ever you need to do Muriel.
I am going to go and tell the
Principal Mr. Woorley. (Sam Leaves
the room)MRS. GREY(40s) Is Mr.
WOORLEY(60S) is his office?
INT. MAIN OFFICE OF CUCAMONGA JUNIOR HIGH-DAY.
Sam Kelp rushes to Principal Woorley’s office to tell him the
bad news. He is overreacting because he knows he is partially
responsible for causing Ralph Newton to have a heart attack
in his classroom.
MRS. GREY (40S)
He is busy on the phone right now.
Is it important Mr. Kelp?
Yes, tell him it is an emergency.
All right I will tell Mr. Woorley
that you have an important thing to
Thank you Mrs. Grey. I will wait
here until he comes out. (Sam
gestures toward a chair in the main
Mr. Woorley is off the phone and he
says he will see you now Mr. Kelp.
Thank you Mrs. Grey.
(Sam enters Principal Woorley’s office)
SAM KELP (CONT’D)
Ned, we have a problem. I was
following up on your orders to
harass Mr. Newton with constant
evaluations today. While I was in
the classroom, Mr. Newton had a
heart attack, and I think he died.
Do you think anyone will hold us
accountable for his death?
What happened? He had a heart
attack? Well what the hell does
that have to do with us? You tell
SUE BLACKBERG(30s)to keep her mouth
shut. Get Mr. Newton’s personnel
file, and destroy the evaluations
you guys did this month. We don’t
want to leave any evidence that we
were intentionally trying to force
a teacher to retire. Have you got
that Sam?(Ned’s face was a
combination of fear and anger).
Yes Sir, you are the boss. We
better cover our asses or there
will be hell to pay. The
Superintendent will want to know
all the details, and the Union of
course will get their two cents
into the situation. We need to try
and downplay the situation so
teachers don’t go around pointing
fingers at us.
Right you are Sam. Let’s get on it
right away, and I will call the
Superintendent of Schools. Sam
Woodruff is not going to like this
one bit. Mrs. Grey call Mr.
Woodruff for me on the phone.
Yes Sir, right away.
(Several minutes later)
Mr. Woorley, I have Mr. Woodruff,
the Superintendent of Schools on
the phone. Pick up on line 2.
SAM WOODRUFF (60S)
Good Morning Ned. What can I do for
We have a situation Sam. A teacher
just had a heart attack in his
That is most unfortunate. Why is it
Well, It might appear that I was
trying to get Mr. Ralph Newton to
retire by stressing him out with
So what is wrong with giving him
the legal annual evaluation?
The problem is, I instructed my
assistant principals to evaluate
him every week this month to
pressure him into retiring.
Really? Are you freaking crazy,
Four evaluations in one month. Is
that a national record for
evaluations for a teacher? You
stupid fool. How are you going to
protect the district from being
sued? And most of all how are you
going to prevent the Union from
going ballistic when they get a
whiff of this teacher harassment?
Boy, you got us into a real bad
I have instructed my assistant
principal, Sam Kelp, to destroy the
evaluations forms in RALPH’s
personnel file so that the Teachers
Union cannot get copies of his
evaluations. If they request them
or find that we did four
evaluations in one month, there
will be no written evidence.
Well that may help, but it may not
work if his wife or anyone else has
a copy of his past evaluations or
if he told any colleagues of
getting so many surprise
evaluations. Let me ask the
district lawyers what their advice
is. I will get back to you today.
Meanwhile, sit tight and keep your
Yes Sir, I will try to downplay the
whole incident. I will contact his
wife, and express my condolences
and express to the faculty how
sorry we lost a great teacher. Good
(NED WOORLEY is seen looking out his office window and
(End of Teaser)
SAM WOODRUFF (CONT’D)
INT. MAIN OFFICE OF CUCAMONGA JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL-DAY
Standing behind the Public address system in the right hand
corner of the main office is JOHN CARDONE(20s) an explosive
speaker, full of enthusiasm and sarcasm. JOHN is a Social
Studies teacher that should have been a disc jockey. He is an
Italian guy with thinning hair on top, and he wears horn
rimmed glasses. JOHN is a teacher like no other teacher. He
is sympathetic to his students. He takes the time to ask his
students how they doing. He is a real caring person with a
positive attitude, no matter what the situation. He is
friends with everyone in the school in just his first year.
He has more energy than a gang of teachers, and is always
doing something to keep busy. JOHN can imitate anyone,
actors, fellow friends, and famous people. He is man who
tells jokes, makes up funny stories, and is always making
people feel good.
He is dressed in a “spiffie” sports jacket, tie and slacks.
JOHN is the “Voice of Cucamonga Junior High school,” who
makes the morning daily announcements every day. JOHN is the
main character of this ACT ONE.
JOHN CARDONE (20S)
Good Morning Cucamonga Junior High
School. (Announced in the manner
Robin Williams used in the
movie,”Good Morning Vietnam.” Loud
and with great emphasis on dragging
out the Gooooood Mornnnning part).
It is with the greatest sadness
that we take a moment of silence
for the passing of a beloved
teacher, Mr. Ralph Newton, who died
of a heart attack in his classroom
yesterday. Our condolences go out
to his family. He will be greatly
missed. Now onto a brighter note,
the Cucamonga Junior High Tigers
Football team , squashed The
Panthers from North Junior High
School yesterday with a score of 32-
7. Let’s give a big hand for DANNY
MATHERS(14) who scored two running
On another note: Students are
reminded that mid-term exams are
coming in several weeks. Please
check the assigned test room
schedule on the Guidance bulletin
This years Faculty Basketball team
will feature Rick the Runner, who
never graduated from Syracuse, Don
“The Tree Lee,” Mel “The Mauler”
Schwartz, Bill “the bomber Medley,
Sam the stomper Steinfeld, and
Joe the Jumper Bigone.
Tickets are on sale now for the
annual Student vs. Faculty
basketball game which raises money
for the Student Yearbook fund.
The Cafeteria staff wish to
announce that personal pizzas will
be on sale during lunch from now
on. An automatic Pizza oven machine
has been purchased, and will be
used to crank out those delicious
Pizzas. Remember “Don’t be Square.”
That’s all for today. This is your
announcer Johnny C. Signing off.
INT. CUCAMONGA JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL SMALL GYMNASIUM-DAY
The scene opens with the school bell ringing, and students
seen running through the gym doors slamming the doors and
running into the locker-rooms. After quickly dressing in the
boys lockerroom, the boys all run into the back gymnasium
where the sound of shouts, and doors slamming echo off the
walls and ceiling. Standing in front of the class is a tall
6ft. 5 inches tall Physical Education Teacher dressed in grey
pants with a blue stripe down the sides, a golf shirt with
CUCAMONGA JHS Phys. Ed. Embroidered on the left of the shirt.
He has white high top basketball sneakers on and a lanyard
hanging around his neck with dozens of keys with a whistle
also attached. WALT has light brown hair in a crew cut style.
This is WALT WILLEY(20s) CUCAMONGA JUNIOR HIGH PHYSICAL
EDUCATION TEACHER and FOOTBALL coach.(Coach Willey was a star
Basketball player at Ithaca College in upstate New York and
graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical
Meanwhile, in the lockerroom BILL MEDLEY, the other PHYSICAL
EDUCATION Teacher who is 6 feet talk, and trim and muscular
with light blonde hair in a crew cut. He is wearing the same
Instructor pants of grey with a blue stripe down the side,
white addidas sneakers, a red T-shirt saying Springfield
College, and a lanyard handing around his neck with many keys
and a high pitch whistle. He is shouting for the boys to
hurray up, and get dressed and lock up their lockers after
they are done. The Second late school bell rings, and almost
all of the boys are milling around the back gymnasium waiting
for the shrilling blast of the teacher’s whistle. Suddenly,
the whistle burst out hurting everyone’s ears.
WALT WILLEY (20S)
(Shouting to be heard above the
noise) Line up, and sit on your
attendance squads. Any medical
notes bring them up now. If you
have a mommies now, take it to the
Nurse immediately, and have her
approve the note and bring it back
to me asap.
BILL MEDLEY (20S)
(Speaking to WALT WILLEY) Alright
WALT, the lockerroom is cleared.
All the students are in the gym.
Squad one are there any absences?
No. OK, Squad Two, any absences?
Yes B2 is absent, That is JAMES
FISHLY. Squad c absences..
While Coach Willey is taking
attendance let’s all stand up, and
get ready for Jumping Jacks. Ready,
begin 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10, Stop.
Pushups, assume the position on the
floor, 10 pushups, (pause) Ready
COACH MEDLEY I have all the
attendance and medical notes. We
are ready for sit-ups. Class, buddy
up with someone in your squad, one
person will be on their back, and
the other partner will be holding
their straight legs. Sit-ups ready
begin, 1,2,3,4,5,….10. Stop.
You know Walt we have too many
students in this class. I count 101
students total. The class limit is
45 per teacher, which would be only
80 students. I passed SAM
FELDSTEINS’S class in the big gym
and he has only 22 students.
Yeah, I was thinking about that
too. Maybe it is because we are new
teachers that we have these
Exactly what I was thinking. How do
we control the noise level in this
small gym. I cannot blow the
whistle every two seconds, when the
noise level gets too high. We need
to come up with a solution.
Exactly, I cannot hear my own voice
in this small gym with 100
screaming 7th and 8th graders.
Let’s take the class outside where
the noise level will be lower.
Good idea Coach. Let’s do
it.(Shouting to the Gym Class).
Class, we are going out today. The
weather is still in the high 50’s,
so it is still good weather for
Flag Football. Exit the gym by the
back doors on the left and the
right, and follow us up the hill to
the Football field. Ready, Move
See you at the top of the field
(The double size class of 101 male students rush out of the
gym with an ear defying roar with the safety bars on the
doors slamming open and closed. All 101 students begin
jogging up the 60 degree hill behind the Cucamonga JHS
gymnasium. On the top of the hill, unseen from the bottom of
the hill, is a full-sized Football field that the regular 9th
grade Football team plays their games.
EXT. FOOTBALL FIELD ON THE TOP OF THE HILL-DAY
From high up on the football field the two Physical Education
teacher look down on the Soccer field where a small gym class
is playing Soccer.
Hey Coach Willey, look down there
on the soccer field. What do you
I see a small group of students
playing Soccer. Yeah, is it SAM
FELDSTEIN’S gym class?
Yeah, He has all the 9th graders,
all 22 of them, and we have 101,
7th and 8th graders. What is wrong
with that picture? I have a
headache after this class every
time we work with them, because the
noise is so loud in the small gym.
We need to come up with a solution
in controlling this large class.
They don’t even listen to the
whistle, no matter how many times I
blow it, till my ears are ringing.
(Shouting to the PE Class), one lap
around the field and then we will
line up in squads to practice
centering the ball, quarterbacking
and receiving the ball. The pass
patterns we are going to work on
are the button-hook pattern, and
the square out or square in
pattern. First to finish the run
gets the football for the first
Hey Bill did you hear about Ralph
He had a heart attack right in his
classroom. Sam Kelp the assistant
principal was evaluating him at the
time. Some students in his class
said that Ralph had more than one
evaluation that month and that may
have caused the stress on Ralph’s
That is very sad to hear. I like
the man. We talked once in a while
in the teachers cafeteria. He had
been working for this district for
32 years. I imagine the Teachers
Union is looking into the
administrators role in his heart
INT. TEACHER LUNCH ROOM-DAY
JOHN CARDONE has early lunch, period 3. He has brought a bag
lunch from home, and is looking for a table to sit at when he
sees SAM MOONSKI(50S) the Science department chairman, and
Chief Building Rep for the Teachers Union, He is sitting
alone in the corner of the room at a table gesturing for JOHN
to come over and join him. SAM was a heavy set Jewish guy
with thin reddish hair, and a light beard. His large nose
stuck our like a chimney, and was his most recognizable
Good morning Mr. Moonski.
Actually, it is almost afternoon
John. How are you doing? Have a
Thanks. I have to get used to
eating lunch so early in the day at
Yes, the three period lunch system
is a pain but with nearly 1,000
students attending Cucamonga Junior
High, we have no choice but to
break up the lunch periods by grade
WALT WILLEY (CONT’D)
I was wondering how did this school
get the ridiculous name Cucamonga?
The first time I saw the name, I
could not pronounce it properly.
Well the truth is that the South
Junior high students who knew they
were getting split between South
Junior high, and the new Junior
high, got the opportunity to pick
the name of the new building to
make them like it a little more.
The choices in the vote were,
Central Junior High, Eisenhower
Junior High, and Cucamonga Junior
High. The students hated the idea
of having to go to another Junior
High so much, that they all picked
the local Indian name of Cucamonga,
because they hated the name. Oh,
That is a funny story. Do you have
any more gems about this school?
Do I ever? Did you know that when
they opened the school in September
of 1960 the school construction was
not finished yet, and the seats for
the auditorium had not arrived.
So what did the Superintendent of
He did not have a lot of choices.
He could tell 600 parents and
students that they could not attend
school for several weeks while,
other students were already in
school or he had to come up with an
So what was the plan?
The Superintendent decided to forgo
the Certificate of Occupancy
inspection by the building
inspector until the last five
classrooms were finished, and the
auditorium filled with seats. He
took a chance and opened the school
with construction still going on
during the day. I heard they paid
off the building inspector, not to
inspect the building until all the
construction was completed.
Did that plan work?
At least we did not have to
postpone the opening date and have
teachers, students, and parents in
a waiting mode. The downside of
that decision was it was impossible
to be heard in the classrooms when
the electric saws started in or
hammering on walls. Teachers
complained, but eventually they
learned a sort of sign language
during the noise. Students were
patient when teachers had to hand
out ditto flyers of notes almost
every class. It took four weeks to
finish the school properly.
That’s amazing. I’ll bet it was a
real stressful time for everyone
One other thing John, as you know I
am the Chief Building rep for the
Teachers Union. What have you heard
about Ralph Newton?
Funny you should mention that. I
heard some of my students taking
about Ralph being a great teacher,
and that an administrator came ever
week in the past month to evaluate
him. Is that legal?
No, it isn’t legal. A tenured
teacher gets only one announced
evaluation a year. We heard that
Ralph had four unannounced
evaluations in one month which is a
violation of the Union contract.
Now we have to prove it and the
administrators seem to have hidden
all the evidence.
I find it hard to believe. Ralph
was a great teacher from the old
school of thinking, but still
effective with his classes. Thanks
for the stories Mr. Woorley. I have
a class to run to. See you around.
INT. BACK SCHOOL HALLWAY-DAY
(It was the first semester of 7th grade for student PERRY
GENOVESE(12). Perry had graduated from Oakwood Elementary
school, and was looking forward to coming to Cucamonga Junior
High school because it had the only gymnastic team in the
county. Perry was only 4 ft. 10 inches tall, and undersized
for a 12 year old boy. He was however, a great athlete who
loved to run, tumble or wrestle. Perry’s closest friend from
Elementary school was a black student called ALFRADEO
PERRY GENOVESE (12)
(Talking to his buddy Alfredo
Donelson in the school hallway) My
daily schedule in 7th grade wasn’t
too bad. I have Mr. Padua, the fat
guy first period for English, Mr.
Runner for Science second period
Health Education with Mr. Weizner,
Lunch 4th period, Social Studies
with Mr. Cardone; Wood Shop period
6, Ms. Betty Strong for Music
chorus, and Ms. Highcastle for Math
last period 8.
ALFREDO DONELSON (12)
Yea, you and I are together only
period 5 and 8. I even put in for
my schedule early in the summer and
I did not get what I wanted.
When I first walked into Mr.
Padua’s class for English I noticed
the hard candies he had on his
desk. When I looked closer at the
candies I noticed that they has all
melted and stuck together in one
I heard about those candies from
some other students who have him
for English. The word is don’t ever
try to eat one of his candies.
What about Mr. Cardone? He was
always wearing hair wigs to class
to make the effect of a
Revolutionary soldier. He even
pretended to be George Washington
in several classes. He had me in
stitches. I signed up for crosscountry
last week. You should join
us on the team Al. I know you like
running and you are a good runner.
I didn’t get Mr. Cardone for a
teacher, I got Mr. TOPOVER, and all
he talks about is when he was a
part-time State Trooper in the
summers at Harriman State Park.
You know the Coach of the Crosscountry
team is the same guy who
coaches the Gymnastic Team. His
name is Coach Medley. I have him
for 3rd period for Phys. Ed. You
should talk to him Al. Remember
when he came to your elementary
school, and did a Gymnastic
Exhibition? You said you loved it.
Cross country goes from September
to November, and Gymnastics starts
in November and ends in March.
OK, I will talk to him today to
sign up for Cross country.
We will have a blast running for
the same team.
INT. GYMNASIUM AT CUCAMONGA JHS, PHYSICAL EDUCATION MEN’S
The men’s office had two desks crowded into one room with a
bathroom off to the side. The walls are concrete over
cinderblocks, very Spartan looking. A large metal cage sits
on the floor full of basketballs, soccer balls, and
Footballs. A bulletin board is behind the door with
announcements on it and a calendar with the days for team
games home and away. Overall the room is messy with cleats on
the floor, dirty shirts handing from a coat rack, papers all
over the desks, and red Delaney attendance books stacked on
Hey Walt, I have an idea how we can
control that overcrowded gym class.
Why don’t we pull out the trouble
makers and have them exercise all
period while the rest of the class
That will never work Bill. I
attended Catholic School when I was
a kid and those Nuns put up with
nothing. Discipline was their
middle name. When we were too noisy
the Nuns would yell kneel and we
all hit the ground faster than the
speed of light because anyone
standing got punished by holding
water buckets for long periods of
time with your arms held horizontal
to the ground.
How is that going to work for us?
Simple, when we blow the whistle we
will have everyone go down on one
knee or genuflect.
ALFRADO DONELSON (CONT’D)
Those that were still standing will
do 25 pushups in front of the
class. Peer pressure will work in
addition to conditioned response.
Walt you are a genius. We will try
your approach at the next class. I
am sure in no time we will have
that class as quiet as Sam’s class
of 22 students.
INT. SOCIAL STUDIES DEPARTMENT CHAIRMAN’S OFFICE
FRED TOPOVER(50S) the Social Studies Department chairman is
sitting behind his grey desk talking to JOHN CARDONE
regarding JOHN’s first classroom evaluation.
John I have completed your first
class evaluation, and I have some
points that need improvement.
(Angrily) I noticed you cited me
for having students sitting on the
radiator. Do you realize that the
class only has 32 chairs and
tables, and you allowed the
enrollment to go to 35 students.
The is 3 over the contract limit
with the Union.
I realize that John, but I have to
make mention of it to get the
administration to transfer three
students out of that class. If I
don’t cite you for the problem,
they will say there is no problem.
Why did you put I needed
improvement on student engagement?
I do presentations in costume for
my classes, but you missed all of
them. I have a debate between
Lincoln and Douglas arranged with
Mr. Lee, and his Social Studies
WALT WILLEY (CONT’D)
Well, I have yet to see any of
those demonstrations in your class.
Tell you what Fred, you come in
next Wednesday to my 4th period 7th
grade on-level class, and you will
see one of my demonstrations of
General George Washington telling
the class about the British chasing
him out of Brooklyn Heights and his
retreat to the upper Bronx to Fort
Washington, then to Fort Lee and
finally to the backwoods of New
Jersey chased by General Howe
OK, John, I will take you up on
your challenge. I have not seen you
do any of this historical
demonstrations that you claim you
do on a regular basic.
Next Wednesday, then I will see you
EXT. CUCAMONGA JHS SOCCER FIELD-DAY.
Student PERRY GENOVESE(12)(PERRY is a short 5 ft. Tall
Student with light brown hair, and a gritty Italian attitude.
His mother is divorced, and he has a chip on his shoulder)
and his black friend ALFREDO DONELSON(12)(AL is the son of a
TEACHER from the SOUTH who moved to New York for a better
life. He is a scrawny kid with short black hair, and horn
rimmed glasses with a piece of tape on one hinge of the
glasses. They are out on the Soccer field during lunch recess
when a school alarm goes off. It is not the usual school
bell, but a fog horn like sound. An announcement comes over
the PA system which could be hear outdoors. It is Mr. Woorley
the school Principal.
May I have you attention please.
This is not a drill. I repeat this
is not a drill.
Teachers and students and staff,
please stop what you are doing and
leave the building following the
Fire Drill signs in the hallway. Go
to the nearest exit and leave the
building in a quiet and orderly
fashion. Teachers line up you
classes as far away from the
building as possible out on the
Soccer field or at the side
entrance to the school grounds. I
repeat this is not a drill.
What do you think that is all about
I think it is a Fire drill or
Yeah, I guess you are right. Here
come all the classes marching out
onto the Soccer field. Now we have
no room to play Soccer. Oh, well.
JOHN CARDONE and RICK RUNNER walk their classes out onto the
Soccer field and instruct their students to be quiet during
the drill. RICK(20s) is a short stocky guy with a short
haircut and clean-shaven face. His hair is a dark brown with
(Shouting to another teacher RICK
RUNNER) Hey, Rick what is going on?
RiCK RUNNER (20s)
I think it is a Fire drill however
they use the school bell for a fire
drill. Maybe it is a bomb scare
A bomb scare? Are you kidding?
No, we get several fake bomb scares
a month. You are new. You will see
what a pain in the neck they are in
disrupting classes and wasting
NED WOORLEY (CONT’D)
Do they ever catch these guys?
No, not yet. They try to trace the
call but the caller usually uses a
pay phone and then runs. Someday
they will figure out how to nail
them and this fake bomb scare crap
will be history.
(Seeing PERRY GENOVESE on the field
JOHN CARDONE yells out) Hey Perry
how are you doing?
I am doing good, Mr. Cardone. What
is going on a fire drill?
No, a Bomb scare we think. An
administrator will come around at
some point in a golf cart, and tell
us what is going on and when we can
re-enter the building.
OK, thanks Mr. Cardone
EXT. IN THE GYMNASIUM LOCKER-ROOMS THE PHYSICAL EDUCATION
TEACHERS HAVE TO SEARCH ALL THE LOCKERS IN FOUR LOCKER ROOMSDAY.
The school district bomb policy is that the custodians remain
in the building, and search the hall lockers which they have
the master keys to. The Physical Education teachers are the
only personnel that have the Master Keys to all the locks in
the Physical Education Boys, and Girls locker rooms so they
have to remain in the building and search for a bomb in the
locker-rooms. The custodians search the halls by school
policy and the Physical Education Teachers search the Locker
(Standing in the Phys. Ed. Men’s
office) Listen everybody it is our
job to make sure the locker rooms
are free from any hidden bombs.
If you hear something ticking in a
locker use your master key and open
the locker. Be careful in case the
door is wired to the bomb. Check
all the unlocked lockers where
anyone could just put a bomb, and
run away. We have to complete this
task in 20 minutes or less. Paper
bags, gym bags and towels are all
I will take the back locker room
NORA NEWSON (20S)
(Nora is a tall 6”1” female Phys.
Ed. Teacher with thick rim eye
glasses and thick dark brown hair.
She is wearing a light blue sweat
shirt and pants matching outfit
with black sneakers and a lanyard
around her neck with three keys and
Shelly and I will cover both of the
girls locker rooms. If we fall
behind in finishing we will call
one of you men to come over and
help us out.
Sam you and I will take the front
locker room since it is the largest
locker room with the most locks.
Well, lets do it. Come on BILL
Watch out for the sharp edges of
the locker doors you can get cut
Sam. I am going down the first
aisle. Nothing yet. We are clear.
The second isle is next. Something
smells in this locker so I am going
to open it. Phew, someone left a
sandwich, and it rotted with mold
Over on the other side of the gym where the girls lockers are
SAM FELDSTEIN (CONT’D)
I hate that we have to risk our
necks looking for a bomb. I would
not know a bomb if I fell over it.
SHELLY BLATT (50S)
(Shelly is an older woman with grey
hair, dressed in high heels and a
skirt and blouse. She does not look
anything like a Phys. Ed. Teacher
and is not wearing a whistle. She
is her late 50’s)
Laughing, your right NORA what the
hell are we doing looking for a
bomb. What administrator thought
that would be a good idea. The
first time a Physical Education
teacher gets blown up will be the
last time they use PE teachers to
search for bombs.
Back to the men in the boys locker rooms.
(Sweating) (Talking to himself)
Gotta be fast, gotta be calm. Open
this door and that one, and the
other, Nothing so far. Please let
there be no bomb. What if I find
something with wires hanging out of
(Yelling into the back locker room)
Walt are you all right back there?
(Yelling back) I haven’t found
anything yet. I will keep you
BILL, I think I hear something
ticking inside this locker. Come
over here and listen, what do you
think? It sounds like a clock.
Should we open it?
Go for it SAM, I will stand
outside. Only kidding. Let’s open
(Sam opens the lock with his master
key, then slowly opens the door to
the locker. It is a wristwatch, and
a loud one at that. Someone’s
football uniform is in here too. I
guess the kid forgot to put his
watch back on. I’ll lock it up
again. Keep looking.
Over on the other side of the gym in the girls locker room
the two women keep searching for the bomb.
(Speaking to Shelly), 15 minutes
already. We only have five minutes
left, should I call one of the men
to come over, and help us?
No NORA, I am almost done, how
Just a few more lockers that are
open. Maybe we can get done on
time. My heart is racing. This is
really stressful. I don’t like
bombs. (Laughing nervously)
Back over on the Men’s side of the gym in the boys locker
Time is up SAM, let’s get the hell
out of here. I found nothing
suspicious, how about you?
I am clear, WALT shut it down, and
lets go. We are out of here.
(Yelling across the gym to the two
women) NORA and SHELLY, we are done
are you guys done? Let’s get out of
All five of the Physical Education teaching staff run out of
the building using the side door, and breath a sign of relief
that they did not find anything.
Meanwhile assistant Principal SAM KELP is driving a golf cart
around the building to make sure all the classes are lined up
and quiet outside the building.
Listen everybody, this is a bomb
drill. We had a threat over the
phone, and have to act according to
protocol. When the alarm horn
sounds again you can re-enter the
building. Thank you for you
(The loud fog horn sound blasts inside and outside the school
building minutes later)
(Standing out on the Soccer field
with his class) Well it looks like
our bomb scare is over and the
entire period is wasted. Back to
(Standing next to RICK) Yeah,
another wasted period. What a shame
they cannot catch these pranksters?
INT. JOHN CARDONE’S CLASSROOM ON WEDNESDAY, DAY.
It is fourth period for the “On level” 7th grade Social
studies class. FRED TOPOVER(50S), the Department chairman is
sitting in to observe JOHN CARDONE do one of his Historical
recreations for the students.
John enters the classroom after the students are seated with
a white wig on his head and a jacket similar to the kind worn
during the Revolutionary War by the Colonists army. The class
begins laughing out loud.
Good morning ladies and gentlemen.
My name is General George
Washington, and I am in charge of
the Continental Army who are
fighting General Howe’s British
Army. The Continental Army just
pushed the British soldiers, and
dependents out of Boston on March
17, 1776. The 11 month siege of
Boston is over and the British have
left Boston with 120 ships for
their Military base in Halifax,
Nova Scotia with nearly 10,000
British troops and over 1,000
dependents or Torys as we call
I have come to New York to defend
the city from the British with
General Charles Lee of the
Continental Army in charge. Now
let’s go around the room, and I
want each student to ask me one
significant or important question
about the military campaign on Long
Island, Manhattan, Bronx Heights at
Fort Washington, and Fort LEE in
My headquarters are in the
Archibald Kennedy Mansion at Number
1 Broadway in York Island as you
may know. First student to start,
the little lady to my right. What
is your question ma lady?
How many troops did you have in New
York and Long Island, General
Washington in 1776?
Good question ma lady. We have
19,000 colonial troops. I split the
Continental Army into fortified
positions in Brooklyn on Long
Island, and in Manhattan, with some
held in reserve in the so called
“Flying Camp,” in Northern New
Jersey, to be deployed when the
British attacked New York.
PERRY GENOVESE (12)
General Washington how many troops
did the British have?
JOHN CARDONE (CONT’D)
Another excellent question young
man. Let me see, according to our
spies the British had 400 ships
with 1200 cannons, and 10,000
sailors under the command of
Admiral Lord Richard Howe, and they
anchored in New York Harbor on
August 13, 1776. On land more than
32,000 British and Hessian troops
were under the command of the
Admiral Howe’s brother General Sir
William Howe. Hessian troops are
hired German mercenaries
WALTER JAMESON (13)
Who won the battle of Long Island
on August 22-30, 1776?
Sadly, we lost the Long Island
campaign because we made a mistake,
and allowed Howe’s troops to flank
our troops by passing through the
SUSAN HOLD (13)
My question is similar to Walter’s
question. What did you do after the
British had you surrounded on Long
Realizing we had made some big
mistakes, and Howe’s army
outnumbered us, we fled on August
28th and 29th during a heavy night
fog, by boat to Manhattan. I
commandeered every available boat
and raft I could find.
RONALD HAYES (13)
Where did the Continental Army go
after reaching Manhattan?
We fled to Fort Washington in the
Bronx heights, but Howe’s army
followed us there and we eventually
had to retreat across the Hudson
river to Fort Lee on the palisades
of the river.
The class went on for the full 50 minutes with JOHN CARDONE
posing as General George Washington answering each and every
question the student put forth. Mr. FRED TOPOVER the Social
Studies chairperson was impressed with his evaluation of JOHN
and he changed his initial evaluation to all points good.)
(The school bell rings and the class gets up and leaves.
Well JOHN you proved me wrong. That
was an excellent historical
demonstration. You are well versed
in all the facts surrounding
General George Washington, and the
class was well engaged in asking
questions to try and trick you. I
am going to change your first
evaluation to all Good marks.
Thanks you JOHN it has been a
INT. SAM MOONSKI’S, CHIEF BUILDING REP, SCIENCE PREP ROOM,
The Prep room is a dull looking room with no windows with a
desk in the middle of piles of boxes, Chemistry sets and
Biology charts around the room.
SAM MOONSKI (50S)
(Talking to RICH RUNNER, Science
Teacher, and PAUL PADUA(50s)
English teacher. PAUL PADUA is a
400 pound over-weight teacher who
is also a Union Rep.) RICK and
PAUL, I think we have a problem
with the Ralph Newton situation.
The Teachers Union has requested
the evaluation forms for Ralph
Newton from the administration.
We have been told there are no
evaluation forms in RALPH’s
personnel file. This leads us to
believe the files have been
destroyed to cover up their
harassment of Ralph Newton.
I have heard, as well as other
teachers have heard, from Ralph’s
students, that different
administrator came in to evaluate
Ralph several times in one month.
PAUL PADUA (50S)
How are we going to prove the
administration harassed Ralph into
having a heart attack?
Well we tried the normal channels
by making a formal request for his
personnel file. Now it is up to the
State Teachers Union Lawyers, and
whether they want to bring a law
suit against the administrators,
namely Ned Woorley, Sue Blackberg,
and Sam Kelp and the School
District as a whole.
What does the Superintendent of
Schools Mr. Woodruff have to say?
He denies everything. He said he
had no knowledge of Principal
Woorley breaking Union laws by
evaluating a tenured teacher more
than once a year. We of course do
no believe him. Proving he is lying
is another problem.
Where is there justice for Ralph?
What about his family, his wife and
It will all have to play out in
court if the Teacher Union Lawyers
can get any evidence to prove their
case. Time will tell.
INT. MAIN OFFICE OF CUCAMONGA JHS-DAY
Two months later a gentlemen shows up in the main office
asking for Ned Woorsley. Mrs. Grey tells the stranger the
Principal is busy at the moment. The stranger said he will
MRS. GREY (40s)
What did you say your name was
MR. BILL ADDISON(40s)
My name is BILL ADDISON and I am
from Smith and Laney Law firm.
Mr. Woorley will see you now. Go
Mr. Ned Woorley?
Yes, how can I help you?
Consider yourself served Mr.
Woorley. You have thirty days to
respond or your lawyer to respond
in Supreme Court in New City, New
York. Thank you (Mr. Addison walks
out before Mr. Woorley can say
But, I (Pause) (Mr. Woorley is in
shock at being presented with a
subpoena for a lawsuit against him,
his assistant principals, the
Superintend of Schools Mr. Woodruff
And the School District for the
Wrongful Death of Ralph Newton).
What did he give you Mr. Woorley?
A subpoena! (Shocked look on his
INT. BACK GYM OF CUCAMONGA JHS-DAY
BILL MEDLEY AND WALT WILLEY, both PE teachers, have been
trying to cope with an oversized Physical Education class of
101 boys. The class limit should be 45 students to one
teacher. 80 should have been the maximum number of boys in
the class. Guidance over-enrolled 101 students this class
period and Coaches MEDLEY AND WILLEY- are stuck with them.
All right class, let’s quiet down.
Coach MEDLEY, and myself have
discussed how to get this
overcrowded class to quiet down,
therefore, beginning today when we
blow out whistle in the gym,
everyone is to go down on one knee.
Anyone still standing will get to
do 25 pushups in front of the
class. If you get caught standing
two times after the whistle is
blown you will receive a zero for
the class grade for the day, and
you will get to do 50 pushups.
Let’s practice what Coach Willey is
talking about. Everyone stand up
please. When I blow the whistle go
down on one knee, and remain there
on the spot and quiet at the same
time. Ready (blows the whistle)
Everyone drops to the floor on one knee except two poor souls
that did not listen to what Coach Willey said.
You two guys (pointing to two boys
standing) did you not hear what I
just said. Come up here now. Give
me 25 pushups, now.
I think we found a solution to our
The two students assume the starting position and begin their
pushups in front of the class.
BILL MEDLEY (CONTINUED) (CONT’D)
Now you see what happens when you
don’t pay attention or listen to
what is being set. You end up being
embarrassed in front of your
From that day forward the largest boys gym class in the
school had come under control for the first time in months.
INT. SOCIAL STUDIES CLASSROOM OF JOHN CARDONE-DAY.
The second school late bell has just rung, and Social Studies
teacher John Cardone is standing at the blackboard writing
the assignment in chalk on the blackboard. As he turns
around, and faces the class, all he sees is a sea of girl’s
thighs. Every girl had a mini-skirt on, and it covered very
From the front of the class all John could see was a crowd of
wide-open legs, which was very distracting, trying not to
look up, and be distracted. John looked out over his science
class only to notice how all the girls were wearing no bras,
and their nipples were sticking out through their blouses or
they were wearing blouses with the front buttons open down to
their waist exposing their cleavage. Junior high girls were
very physically advanced, but had no clue how they managed to
get the boys hormones pumping. You could almost feel sexual
tension in the air.
Bonnie, in the assigned reading
last night you read how General
George Washington learned from his
mistakes in the 1776 campaign. What
mistakes did he make in that
campaign on Long Island, Manhattan
or the Upper Bronx?
(A Short, cute red headed girl,
with blue eyes wearing a miniskirt)
I think he made a mistake in
the Battle of Long Island. He
should have known that General Howe
was known for flanking his enemies
in battle, and he should have
blocked the Jamaica pass to prevent
his troops from being flanked.
That’s right Bonnie. As he cannot
help, but look up Bonnie’s legs to
see a pair of white panties.(John
tries to look away so as not to be
distracted by Bonnie’s legs out in
the isle.)(John turns to another
students and asks) Bill or WILLIAM
William(13), (William is a tall
student with blond hair cut in a
crew cut style with a flat top
How did General Washington escape
from Long Island before British
General Howe could surround him?
WILLIAM STARKEY (12)
I don’t know Mr. Cardone.
Really WILLIAM? OK, JODIE,
(A tall Jewish girl with a miniskirt
on) JODIE, how about you? Can
you answer that question? (Jodie
has a skirt on that was so small,
it seemed like she had nothing on
at all. Fortunately, she had her
legs crossed to avoid grossing
JODIE ROTHSTEIN (13)
He got all the boats he could and
crossed the East River at night in
a heavy fog.
That is correct JODIE, good
job.(Trying to look away from
looking up Jodie’s thighs). GAIL
can you tell me where the British
first landed when they came to New
GAIL LEVINE (13)
I believe they landed on Staten
Island, Mr. Cardone.
Right you are GAIL. They used
Staten Island as a base to attack
the Continental Army at Brooklyn
Heights on Long Island. What
mistake did General Howe and his
brother Admiral Richard Howe make
when first landing on Staten
Island? Anyone know? (Silence for a
few seconds) Well the mistake the
Howe brothers made was in not
attacking immediately. They had
their own agenda. Both brothers
were members of Parliament and they
voted against the war against the
colonies. What they wanted was to
negotiate a peace with the
Continental Army and get them to
turn in their arms and surrender.
Then they wanted to help themselves
to the spoils of war by taking over
large tracts of land for their own
WALLY MOON (13)
(Raising his hand) Mr. CARDONE
didn’t General Washington realize
he could not win a war against
45,000 British troops?
No, he did not realize it at first
until he saw how many troops the
British sent to recapture their
colony in New York and Boston. What
George Washington did eventually
learn was that he was always
outnumbered and he could not play
war the way the British wanted him
to play. He had to be satisfied
with small skirmishes and small
victories, constantly on the run,
trying to wear the British down.
Washington wrote the Continental
Congress after his defeat on Long
Island and expressed his feeling
that they could never defeat
General Howe’s massive Army. The
only thing they could do was wage a
war of attrition.
Did Napoleon, or Alexander the
Great realize that they could not
win a war of attrition. Do we
realize now that we cannot win the
Vietnam War because the Communists
are using the same tactics as
General Washington, forcing a
battle of attrition. The longer the
war the less patience the British
Parliament had in spending a great
deal of money and getting nothing
The class discussion went on for a while until the school
bell rang signalling the end of the period. The students in
Mr. Cardone’s class jumped up, and all left the classroom)
As the classroom empties we see JOHN CARDONE looking out into
the courtyard outside the school, shaking his head about the
stress of looking at so many mini-skirts. It was an
embarrassment he as a former Catholic school student would
have to make a major adjustment.
INT. PRINCIPAL NED WOORLEY’S OFFICE-DAY
NED WOORLEY is meeting with his two assistant principals, SUE
BLACKBERG and SAM KELP regarding the recent subpoena
regarding the untimely death of teacher Ralph Newton.
Well we have a big problem now that
a lawsuit on behalf of Ralph Newton
has been filed against all of us,
the School District and the
Superintendent of Schools. I have
spoken with SAM WOODRUFF the
Superintendent and he assures me
that the district will provide
lawyers if this goes to court.
SUE BLACKBERG (30S)
I had all copies of the evaluation
reports from Ralph’s file
destroyed. Fortunately, Ralph did
not get the Union involved early
JOHN CARDONE (CONT’D)
However, they have requested his
file already, and have photocopied
all his records yesterday.
I never filed the evaluation I was
working on when Ralph had a heart
attack. Since I was in the room it
is going to be hard to deny I was
not evaluating him.
You bring up a good point SAM. We
need to carefully protect ourselves
or this problem could explode
beyond our imagination. The Teacher
Union is sending their State level
lawyers down to our School District
to investigate the case. Do not
give any interviews without legal
counsel present. The Superintendent
doesn’t know anything about the
case except what I told him. If he
feels threatened he might give us
up as sacrificial lambs. We have to
be real careful. Meanwhile,
everything should be business as
usual. Any questions? OK, let’s get
back to work.
INT. MAIN OFFICE OF CUCAMONGA JUNIOR HIGH-DAY.
It is another day at Cucamonga Junior High and starting the
day is the PA announcements from JOHN CARDONE, “The VOICE OF
CUCAMONGA JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL.
Good morning Cucamonga Junior High
school. Here are the morning
announcements on this cold November
morning. Midterm exams are schedule
for next week. All exams will be
taken in the regular subject room
by students. Check with your
teacher what day you will be taking
your midterm exam.
SUE BLACKBERG (30S) (CONT’D)
Good news in sports, the Cucamonga
Tigers Football team has a game
against the Washingtonville
Patriots this coming friday on the
upper Football field here at
Cucamonga Junior High. Don’t be
square, make sure you are there
this friday to cheer on our
Football team to victory.
A notice from the gymnasium, Mr.
Feldstein the Physical Education
department chairman wishes to
announce a second shipment of gym
uniforms for girls and boys has
arrived. Student can purchase their
PE uniform in the book store before
school or during lunchtime. The
Cross-Country track team won their
match against North Junior High
yesterday with 7th grade runners
Perry Genovese and Alfredo Donelson
coming in first and second place
respectively. Hats off to those two
athletes. This is Johnny C. Signing
off and remember, Don’t be Square.
INT. HOMEROOM 121 WITH HOMEROOM TEACHER JOHN CARDONE-DAY.
After making the morning announcements JOHN CARDONE goes to
his HOMEROOM assignment before the first period class.
HOMEROOM is a ten minute period where the students meet for
attendance taking prior to the first classroom period of the
day. Any student not in their seat by the late bell is
considered absent from school.
John is sitting at his desk in Homeroom 121 waiting for all
the students in his homeroom to arrive.
It is 9:15 am according to the school clock in the hallway. A
young girl is standing in the doorway talking to her friends
before homeroom is over. A boy comes jogging down the hallway
and stops at the doorway to talk to the girl. They begin to
Before JOHN realizes what was happening a boy coldcocks or
punches the girl with a right hook to her chin. She drops to
the floor almost unconscious, and JOHN jumps up, and runs to
JOHN CARDONE (CONT’D)
The boy is standing there taunting her, and calling her
names. JOHN checks for a pulse by holding her wrist. Her
pulse is fast and light.
(Speaking to a girl friend of hers,
SUSAN standing in the doorway of
her homeroom) BILL said he wanted
to meet me after school today.
SUSAN GREEN (13)
Really, that is surprising. I
though you did not like BILL
Do you think he likes me?
I really don’t know. What about
your old boyfriend Malcomb?
We’re done. I caught him cheating
on me with SYRENNA WILSON.
A black student comes running down the hallway. It is
Malcomb, ADRIENNE’S ex-boyfriend. He Stops at the doorway. He
is a black student and ADRIENNE is white.
What’s up bitch. You dropping me
just like that?
ADRIENNE and MALCOMB get into a verbal fight. Suddenly,
without warning, he punches ADRIENNE in the jaw with
tremendous force. ADRIENNE falls to the floor unconscious,
and SUSAN GREEN screams.
Oh My God, Help, Mr. CARDONE, Help.
JOHN CARDONE is sitting at his desk in the homeroom and he
looks up just in time to see MALCOMB coldcocks ADRIENNE, and
SUSAN yelling for help. JOHN jumps out of his seat, and runs
to the doorway.
See bitch that’s what you get.
(Talking to MALCOMB who is standing
over ADRIENNE) Get out of the way
Please. (His voice is strained from
the stress of the situation).
Are you OK? (He asks Adrienne while
checking her pulse).
(Shouting) -ADRIENNE is not
responding, and her eyes are in the
back of her head. She has a faint
heartbeat and fast. SUSAN hold her
head off the floor for me while I
call the NURSE.
JOHN CARDONE stands up and grabs the intercom phone, and
calls the office. Hello, this is Mr. CARDONE in Room 121,
call for an ambulance, and call the Nurse immediately. I have
an unconscious girl in my doorway that was punched in the jaw
by a boy.
OK, Mr. CARDONE, we are calling an
ambulance immediately, and telling
the Nurse to get there immediately.
Is she still breathing?
Yes she is, thank God.
Five minutes later Nurse Mayberry arrives.
What happened Mr. Cardone?
This boy punched ADRIENNE in the
jaw, for no apparent reason, and
she went unconscious, and fell to
OK, did you call an ambulance?
Yes, an ambulance is on the way.
I have a slight pulse. She is still
unaware of where she is however.
I called an ambulance right away
because she was unconscious, and
may have suffered a concussion.
(Turning to Malcomb who was
standing in the hallway)
Now MALCOMB you are going to tell
Principal WOORLEY why you injured
this girl for no reason. (Speaking
JOHN grabs MALCOMB by the shirt collar, and practically lifts
him off the ground, and begins to walk rapidly toward the
Principal’s office in the front of the building. He drags the
student all the way holding the shirt collar until he arrives
at the principal’s office.
It is then he realizes that MALCOMB’s feet aren’t touching
the ground, and in his anger JOHN held MALCOMB off the ground
all the way to the principal’s office.
JOHN CARDONE (CONTINUED) (CONT’D)
Mr. WOORLEY, This student, MALCOMB
JAMES took it upon himself to punch
a girl names ADRIENNE ROTH in the
jaw for no apparent reason. She
fell to the floor unconscious in my
homeroom. The nurse is sending the
girl ADRIENNE ROTH to the local
hospital to evaluate her condition.
She might have a concussion.
Well Malcomb, what do you have to
say for yourself?
She disrespected me, the bitch.
Excuse me, we don’t use that kind
of language here.
(Pouting) Well I am sorry.
NED WOORLEY (CONTINUED) (CONT’D)
Mrs. GREY call MALCOMB’s mother,
and have her come down to the
school immediately. We are going to
suspend MALCOMB for assaulting a
girl in the school.
Yes sir, I will call MRS.
WILLIAMS(40S) right now.
MRS. GREY (CONT’D)
Hello, MRS. WILLIAMS? This is Mrs.
Grey, Principal Woorley’s secretary
at Cucamonga JHS. Your son MALCOMB
has been in an altercation with a
girl, and he punched her causing
her to become unconscious. MR.
WOORLEY wants you to come to the
school immediately to pick up
MALCOMB, and take him home. He is
going to be suspended for a week
from school. MR. WOORLEY will give
you the details when you get to
MRS. WILLIAMS (40S)
I don’t have a car, so I will have
to call up for a taxi. It will take
me at least 30 minutes to get
there. Thank you for informing me
of MALCOMB’S conduct.
MALCOMB I want you to sit in my
office until your mother comes to
pick you up. Thank you JOHN. You
may return to your first period
INT. STUDENT CAFETERIA LUNCH PERIOD-DAY.
7th grade student PERRY GENOVESE is talking to his black
friend ALFREDO DONELSON in the cafeteria about school gossip.
(Speaking to his friend Alfredo)
Hey Al, did you hear about that
girl being knocked out in her
Yeah, I know the kid who punched
her. His name is MALCOMB JAMES and
he is in my bus in the morning.
Really, what is this kid like?
He is just a 7th grader like us,
but I think he wants to be known by
his friends as a ‘Hard Ass.’ He is
always picking fights on our bus. I
just stay away from him.
Don’t get involved. How about the
cross-country match yesterday. Did
you see that guy from the other
team try to cut me off on the
No, I was too far behind you in the
woods to see what you were doing. I
didn’t get my second breath until
we came out of the woods onto the
I had to push the guy back when he
tried to cut in front of me on that
narrow path. The coaches never see
that crap. I guess it is all part
of cross-country track? Are you
coming to practice today?
Sure, I will be there. I am
beginning to like running.
You want that muffin in your lunch?
No, you can have it.
INT. PRINCIPAL WOORLEY’S OFFICE-DAY.
Ned Woorley looks angry as he explains a situation that just
happened. I’ve asked both of you to meet with me because the
SUPERINTENDENT of SCHOOLS SAM WOODRUFF and hired a
replacement for RALPH NEWTON and he is a black man. I don’t
know what SAM’S thinking was, but I did not even get to
interview this gentlemen.
The DIRECTOR OF PERSONNEL JUDY MEYERS(40S) and SAM interview
this prospective Business Education teacher and did not allow
me to interview him for fear that I would not hire him. I
think this situation is all about Board pressure to hire more
minority teachers. I have to tell you I was very angry with
SAM for doing this to me and I want to share with you why we
did not get any input on his hiring. So, next week Mr.
JEFFERSON JONES will be reporting to our school for his first
day. Treat him well and do not attempt to harass him in any
way. He is a bomb waiting to go off with the SUPERINTENDENT’s
Wow, that is a first. The
SUPERINTENDENT must really want to
have black teachers on the faculty
really bad? I had heard that the
Board held a secret meeting after
getting a poor review by the State
on the amount of minority teachers
in the district.
I heard that rumor too. The
pressure is on to hire minority
teachers to match the increasing
minority students in our school
Remember be nice to this guy and
stay away from him for now. I don’t
want him running back to the
SUPERINTENDENT and spilling his
guts that we treated a black
teacher badly. Hush will be the
word people. Have a good day now.
INT. RICK RUNNERS SCIENCE CLASSROOM-DAY.
RICH RUNNER(20s) a first year science teacher is preparing
his classroom for an incoming class when MRS. SUE BLACKBERG
appears at his doorway to speak with him.(Rick has dark thick
hair, a muscular build and he is 5 ft. 9” tall. He wears
glasses for reading but usually keeps them in his pocket.
Rick is an occasional smoke and loves cigars)
Good morning, Mr. Runner. I need to
tell you RICK that this new kid
RICHARD FLYNN(12) is being
evaluated by the Guidance
department as to his proper
placement. He may have ADD or some
other learning impairment. We just
got his academic and discipline
records the other day and realized
that he was expelled from
elementary school on numerous
occasions. We may have to move him
to a below level class, instead of
an on level class like yours. For
now just be careful what you say to
him since he seems to have a chip
on his shoulder.
Thanks Sue, I will keep an eye out
for RICHARD when he comes into my
class this period.
SUE BLACKBERG walks away down the hallway.
RICK RUNNER returns to his desk in his classroom as the late
bell rings. He begins to take attendance in his class book.
RICK RUNNER (CONTINUED) (CONT’D)
Welcome to Science 7, and my name
is MR. RUNNER. Check your schedules
and make sure you have Science 7
period six, M-F. Now let me check
the attendance. To make things easy
I want everyone to pick up their
books, and line up against the
Now, where I call your last name
take a seat in the first row. Five
students will sit in the first row
and then we will move to five more
in the second row and so on.
This will be your assigned seat for
the semester. When I take
attendance and your seat is empty I
will assume you are absent. Are
there any questions about that?
Suddenly a student bursts into the room, huffing and puffing
from running. He slams the door and then he quickly grabs the
Is this MR. RUNNER’S science class?
(RICHARD is a short 5.1 feet in height boy, with light blond
hair, a scar over his right eye, and a very white complexion.
He is dressed in a plaid shirt and Lee Jeans and old worn out
sneakers. He has a high pitched voice almost like a girls
Yes it is, and you are late. What
is your name son?
My name is Richard. Richard Flynn.
OK, Richard I are assigning seats
for attendance, and you will sit
behind GAIL GOLD in row four.
Please take your seat.
As MR. RUNNER continued calling out 32 names of students in
the class, Richard begins talking to his friends around his
RICK RUNNER (CONTINUED) (CONT’D)
Richard, you need to stop talking,
and just sit there until we have
the attendance seating completed.
RICK RUNNER (CONTINUED) (CONT’D)
(Richard gives MR. RUNNER an ugly
face. Learning forward in his
chair he taps a girl named GAIL
behind the head).
Stop that please.
(Laughs out loud) Ha hawwa
(Stops what he is doing, and looks
at Richard and says), Richard, this
is the second time I have had to
speak to you. Quiet down.
(Gives Mr. Runner the middle
finger, and says) “Fuck you.”
(Hearing the words “Fuck you,” in
his class, he becomes angry
immediately. He walks over to
Richard, and says). Richard step
outside into the hallway please.
(Shouting) No, you cannot make me.
“Really” (as he grabs RICHARD by
the arm, and starts to drag him
toward the door).
(Richard pulls away)
Losing his patience, Rick grabs RICHARD by the armpits and
lifts him up, and slams him against the wall where the light
switches were. As RICHARD slides down the wall the lights all
go out creating a dramatic finish to the confrontation.
The class all breaks out clapping, and chanting, MR. RUNNER,
MR. RUNNER. MR. RUNNER leaves RICHARD on the floor, and goes
over to the intercom on the wall.
Taking the intercom off the wall, he calls the office to send
a security guard to take Richard to the Guidance Office for
the period. Security Guard DAN HEALY(70) appears, and tells
Richard to leave the room, and follow him to the Guidance
department. (Dan is a kind old man that is retired. He wears
his pants up to his chest with a stained old white shirt and
dirty dress shoes. He has a little bit of an Irish accent.
His hair is completely grey and he is in his early 70’s)
DAN HEALY (70)
(Dan is one of the school security
guards. He is a gray haired, pale
skin, Irish gentlemen) Hello MR.
RUNNER. Who is the student I am
taking to Guidance?
There he is DAN, RICHARD FLYNN is
OK young man, lets go visit the
Guidance Office. (Dan leads RICHARD
down the hallway to the GUIDANCE
office in the front of the school).
(RICK returns to his desk) Alright,
everyone has a seat now and I
expect you to be in the correct
seat every class so I can get the
attendance quickly and accurately.
INT. CUCAMONGA JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL MAIN OFFICE-DAY.
One week later JEFFERSON JONES(30s),(JEFFERSON is 6 ft. Tall,
with a full afro hair style, a mustache, very dark skin and
talks with a slight southern accent. He us dressed in a three
piece business suit and florsheim shoes). The new Black
Business Education teacher reports to the Cucamonga Junior
High office for his first day.
JEFFERSON JONES (30S)
Good Morning, my name is JEFFERSON
JONES, and I was supposed to report
to CUCAMONGA Junior High School as
the new BUSINESS EDUCATION teacher.
Hello, we were expecting you MR.
JONES. Principal WOORLEY would like
to welcome you to CUCAMONGA JUNIOR
HIGH SCHOOL. Just one minute. Mr.
WOORLEY, the new teacher, MR. JONES
is here. Shall I send him in?
Sure, send him right in, MRS. GREY.
Good Morning Sir. It is good to be
I just wanted to take a minute and
welcome you MR. JONES to our
school. You are replacing a very
good teacher that served many years
teaching in this district. We have
had substitutes covering his
classes since he passed away, so
you may have to reorganize what
they taught if anything. MRS. GREY
will give you an class attendance
book and a Lesson Plan book. Since
we do not have a Business Education
department chairperson, you will be
reporting to FRED TOPOVER the
department Chairman for Social
Studies. Your lesson plans are due
to him every two weeks before the
friday payday. If you need an
classroom supplies Mr. TOPOVER will
provide you with them. MRS. GREY
also has you teaching schedule for
you. I believe you have prep second
period and LUNCH DUTY fifth period
and your own LUNCH will be fourth
You have five Business Education
classes of 8th and also 9th grade
students. 7th graders are not allow
to elect Business Education because
their schedule is too tight. Again,
welcome and my door is open if you
ever have any questions or
Here are your supplies and schedule
MR. JONES. Your classroom is at the
top of the stairs, first class on
Thank you MR. WOORLEY, And MRS.
GREY. I am looking forward to
MR. JONES leaves the main office and heads toward his
classroom up on the second floor.
INT. PRINCIPAL WOORLEY’S OFFICE-EARLY AFTERNOON, DAY
Principal WOORLEY Meets with his assistant Principals to
report that the new black Business Education teacher has
reported as expected.
Well, SUE and SAM, Mr. JEFFERSON
JONES has reported today and has
begun teaching Business Education.
If you meet him in the hallway be
friendly. Meanwhile, stay away from
I saw him walking up the stairs
dressed in a three piece business
suit and a full afro hair style. He
certainly stands out from the other
He had a relatively easy teaching
schedule with LUNCH Duty. I think
he will blend in fine here.
NED WOORLEY (CONT’D)
I certainly hope so. I am sure the
Superintendent will be on my back
for oral progress reports as to how
he is doing. I will just have to
take this situation in stride.
INT. TEACHER CAFETERIA FOURTH PERIOD 11:50-DAY.
Several teacher have learned that a new black teacher was
hired to replace Ralph Newton and they are discussing their
views. Teachers PAUL PADUA(30)-English; ROBERT
MAULER(20s)SOCIAL STUDIES, RICK RUNNER-SCIENCE and BETTY
STRONG(20s)MUSIC are all involved at one table in the
PAUL PADUA (30S)
(Talking to ROBERT MAULER) Hey Bob
did you hear they hired a black
teacher to replace Ralph Newton?
Yeah, Principal Woorley buckled to
the pressure from the
SUPERINTENDENT of SCHOOLS to hire
some minority teachers, since our
staff was deemed all white by the
Board of Education.
PAUL PADUA (30S)
Really, wow that is shocking. I
never thought of our district as
having racial imbalance in hiring.
(Joining the table with his tray of
food)-Did I hear you guys talking
about the new black Business
Education teacher. He stutters, and
comes from Mississippi with a
I guess the kids are going to have
problems understanding him?
I am all for more minority teachers
being hired. We have a lot of black
and minority students, and no role
models of color on the faculty for
the kids to follow.
BETTY STRONG (20S)
We have only two other black
teachers out of 75 white teachers
on the faculty. That seems to be an
It has been a long time coming
since the district was cited in the
1950’s for a lack of segregated
schools. The Federal government
gave the district one year to
correct the imbalance of white
schools to one all black school The
solution was to take the black
students from the Hill area in the
south and bus them to North Junior
high to provide some black students
to balance against all the rich
white students from the north
I never though NED WOORLEY
particularly liked minority people.
He always makes that mistake of
calling them ‘those people.
I haven’t met the guy yet, has
I imagine we will meed him soon
enough. I understand he came to
school dressed in a three piece
business suit and he has a full
afro hair style.
I am sure with the Civil Rights
movement in full swing we can
expect to see a lot more minority
teachers hired in the future.
That is for sure.
Hey RICK have you seen that new
female Phys. Ed. Teacher, ahh
Ronnie Bronson. She is really
stacked, if you will excuse the
Yeah and she loves to wear tight
sweaters. I understand from BILL
MEDLEY that SAM FELDSTEIN(30S) the
PE chairman is making a fool of
himself catering to her every
Really you guys are so petty. So
what if a female teacher has a
large chest. What do we men care?
Only kidding, she is stacked. Sorry
That is OK, I know how you men
think. It is all about the physical
looks of a woman.
Well, she is a PHYSICAL- education
teacher, Betty. Ha. With the
emphasis on Physical.
FADE TO BLACK.
INT. UPSTAIRS IN ROOM 204 ENGLISH-DAY.
It was a busy morning at Cucamonga Junior High. Fall was in
full swing and the classroom heaters had begun to come on in
the cold mornings. Suddenly smoke began to appear under MRS.
MEG ANGELO(30S)English Classroom MRS. ANGELO was on a break
in the Teacher Lounge at the time 10:30 am.
A student coming out of Nurses office next to room 204
noticed the smoke coming from under the room 204 door. She
ran back into to tell the Nurse who came out and saw the
Hello, main office. We have a fire
on the second floor. Smoke is
coming out of room 204, MRS.
ANGELO’s classroom. The door is
locked and I do not know where she
is. Hurray call the Fire Department
Calm down MRS. MAYBERRY. I will
send MR. KELP up there right away
to confirm that there is a fire.
Hurray, I am telling you smoke is
pouring out under the door of room
204 and it is not my imagination.
Alright Mr. KELP is on the way up
to the second floor. He just left.
(Running up the stairs to room 204,
standing there gasping for breath)
Holy cow it is a fire. My keys
cannot open the classroom, damm?
MRS. MAYBERRY where is your outside
Right over there Mr. Kelp.
(Gesturing to a phone sitting on
the nurses desk)
I am going to call out for the Fire
Department, we have a fire and have
to evacuate the building. Hello,
Highland Fire department. This is
Assistant Principal Sam Kelp from
Cucamonga Junior High School. We
have a fire on the second floor in
room 204. Smoke is pouring out of
the room and it is locked. Hurray.
The emergency code is ALPHA 360.
Send fire trucks right away.
(Running back down the stairs, Sam
enters the main office) MRS. GREY I
am going to pull the main fire
alarm. Cover you ears.
The Main FIRE ALARM goes off ringing in all the halls and
classrooms in the building. Mr. Kelp gets on the PA and
SAM KELP (CONTINUED) (CONT’D)
Attention please. May I have your
attention please this is a fire
drill please evacuate the building
in an orderly fashion. Teachers
exit by the nearest outside door to
your classroom. There should be no
talking. Calmly leave your
classroom immediately. Let me
repeat, do not delay, calmly walk
in double file to the nearest
outside door exit and leave the
building. Ned, Mr. Woorley we have
a fire on the second floor and it
is for real. I confirmed it in MRS.
ANGELO’s classroom in room 204. We
need to evacuate immediately.
OK, lock all the doors and the
vault and let’s get out of here.
Hurray I can smell the smoke
The administrators in the main office walk briskly out the
front doors while all the classes on the first and second
floor exit the building by the side doors. The teachers,
students, and staff are all standing out on the Soccer field
100 yards away from the building which is starting to send
black smoke up into the air.
NED WOORLEY (CONTINUED) (CONT’D)
Here come the fire trucks, thank
God. Sam go and tell them where the
fire is located.
SAM KELP (CONT’D)
(Waving his hands to attract the
attention of the Fire Chief in his
red truck) Hello, the fire is on
the second floor room 204 on the
inside of the building near the
front of the school.
FIRE CHIEF BUTCH LONG(50s)
(Talking to Sam Kelp) OK, if we
enter through the front door our
hoses might be long enough to go
upstairs. We might have to go in
from the side. JIM take the hook
and ladder around the left of the
What the hell is going on? It this
a drill or a real fire.
I am afraid it is a real fire on
the second floor in room 204. Sam
confirmed that smoke was pouring
out under the door and the door is
hot and locked. He could not get
into the room. I don’t know where
MRS. ANGELO is. It is her room that
the fire has started in. The NURSES
office is right next to that room
and we could lose all the medical
supplies and cots? Damm what a
(Talking to NED WOORLEY) What is
going on? I just went out for some
lunch at the local Deli and when I
came back I could see the black
smoke stretching up into the sky
from three miles away
We seem to have a real fire on the
second floor. Sam went up there to
confirm the smoke pouring out from
under the door of room 204.
Room 204, that is MEG ANGELO’s
classroom. Is she alright?
We don’t know where she is. Her
room is locked.
I think she has a prep period
second period. She must have been
in the teacher lounge? That is
where she usually goes during her
We have no way of confirming that
now. Maybe when Sam takes the golf
cart around the building he may see
her line up on the back side of the
Gee, I hope so. She is a good
friend of mine. We play tennis
together after school all the time.
Meanwhile, back in the building the classes are all filing
out of the sides and back of the school building. Bill Medley
was in the men’s bathroom when the fire broke out. As he
heard the fire alarm he quickly finished up in the bathroom
and hurried out of the building on the second floor. The
smoke was too thick to see through on the end of the hallway
so Bill decided to go down the stairs and then out the side
door. As the rushed down the stair case he saw a small girl
lying crumpled on the floor near the bottom of the stairs on
the first floor. He quickly runs over to her.
Hi I am Coach Medley, are you OK?
We have to get out of here quickly.
Can you walk?
SMALL FEMALE STUDENT
(Crying) I twisted my ankle and
fell down, and everyone left me
No problem, let me carry you
outside. Try not to breath the
smoke in. We will be out of here in
s flash. Be calm.
SMALL FEMALE STUDENT
(Crying) Thank you,(sobbing).
(Carrying the girl, he exits the
side of the building choking from
the heavy smoke) By the way what is
your name little girl?
SMALL FEMALE STUDENT
My name is NINA TURETSKY(13). Thank
you Mr. CARDONE.
(Seeing the Math Department.
directing students away from the
building, he yells to him)
Abe give me a hand with this girl.
My arms are killing me…(cough)
Put her down and I will take care
of her. What is your name? OK, can
you walk? If not I will help you
hop on one leg.
Let’s get away from the
building.(Abe is a short Jewish man
with greying hair and a bald spot
at the back of his head. He has a
thin beard, mustache, a large nose
and thick eyebrows).
(Asking ABE LEVINSKI)
I don’t know, but I think a fire
started in Mrs. Angelo’s classroom
on the second floor?
FADE TO BLACK.
INT. FLASHBACK TO A MONTH BEFORE THE FIRE-DAY.
JOHN CARDONE thinks back to a month before the fire when he
was standing in MRS. MEG ANGELO’s(20s) room 204, ENGLISH. THE
MONTH IS OCTOBER.(Meg Angelo is a busty, big haired blond
dyed. She is very outspoken and assertive. Recently divorced
with two children. She is a pretty woman for mid-30s with
lots of makeup and always dresses like a fashion model. (She
is actually Jewish, but has married an Italian guy).
John walking by MRS. MEG ANGELO’S classroom, when he notices
clothes lines with papers hanging from them. He sticks his
head in the door and says hello.
Hello, MRS. ANGELO. Hi MEG, I mean
MRS. MEG ANGELO, how are you doing?
MRS. MEG ANGELO
I am doing great, how are you DOING
My you are creative. What are the
clotheslines and the papers hanging
from them for?
ABE LEVINSKI(60) (CONT’D)
MRS. MEG ANGELO
They are student project outlines
on cards, and I hung them from cord
to make an impression and to
demonstrate how many students were
doing writing projects.”
That’s great. Do you mind if I stay
a while and observe your class?
MRS. MEG ANGELO
Sure makes yourself at home, John
you are always welcome.
Mrs. Angelo can you help me with my
MRS. MEG ANGELO
Gotta help this student, sit down
JOHN, and relax.
JOHN goes over to the window and sits down at the back of the
class. On the window ledge JOHN notices something out of
place. For some reason a pile of crumpled papers were stuffed
into the space between the wall and the radiator. It looked
really messy, and out of place. Just then he saw a student
crumple a piece of paper, and throw it toward the existing
pile of papers on the radiator near the window.
Meg you classroom is amazing. One
thing however, what is with that
mess of papers stuffed into the
MRS. MEG ANGELO
Oh yes, I have been meaning to have
one of the students clean it out.
We do not have a trash can, so they
have been dumping the papers on the
Don’t you think that could cause a
MRS. MEG ANGELO
No, the radiator is turned off this
early in the fall season. I will
get to it soon.
I can get rid of it for you.
MRS. MEG ANGELO
Don’t worry JOHN, I will get to it.
Well I gotta run. Thanks for
letting me observe your class.
Amazing creativity, I am most
impressed. I wish we had more
teachers like you.
END OF FLASHBACK
FADE TO BLACK.
1 EXT. THE FRONT OF THE SCHOOL BUILDING OUT ON THE SOCCER 1
The fireman try to enter the school through the front doors,
but their hose will not reach the second floor going up the
stairs. a second approach with a ladder to the second floor.
the fireman knock out the windows on the outside of the
building and drag their hoses through the windows to the
hallway outside. the fireman have to use axes to break down
the door when the fire started. later, they made it to the
second floor, the nurses office was ablaze, room 2006 next to
204 was completely in fire and smoke. after an hour to put
out the fires, which had spread through the plaster walls
through three classrooms in a row and the nurses office.
Downstairs the water from the fireman flooded all ten
thousand books on the shelves, ruining most of them
completely. When the fireman were done, the two classrooms on
the side of the outside of the building were trashed.
The fireman have to rip out the windows to gain access to the
fire which was on the inside of the second floor classrooms.
FIREMAN #1 (40)
(Lead fireman climbing up the Hook
and Ladder to the second floor of
the school) HAND ME THAT AXE.
Here is the axe. Cover your eyes
with your helmet shield. The glass
is going to spread in all
directions. I am sure it isn’t
OK, stand back here goes the first
shot. (Fireman Swings his axe and
smashes the side window of the
second story classroom to a million
pieces of glass shards in al
Hook the window frame and pull the
whole thing out with your axe.
(He hooks the hook side of his axe
around the frame of the window and
give a couple of strong pulls and
the window frame drops one story to
the ground) I’ve got it. Pass me up
the hose and I will climb in the
(Climbing up the ladder pulling the
heavy hose) OK, here is the hose.
Watch for sharp edges of the window
as you step in.
(Shouting) I’m in (cough) putting
my respirator on too much smoke in
here. Turn on the water.
(Yelling) Water is turned on. Hold
Slow down and let me get through
the window with you. Steady here I
come. (He steps through the window
into a room completely filled with
I cannot see the door, but I must
be near the front of the classroom.
Follow me and hold onto that hose.
Do we still have enough hose left
to get into the building?
Yeah, we have plenty of hose line
left. Is the classroom door open?
I found the door. It’s open. Wow
the hallway is completely in
flames. Let’s water down the
hallway so I can get to the locked
classroom. What number is it again?
Never mind we probably would be
able to see the classroom number in
this thick smoke. It should be the
second room from the stairway.
I am pulling the hose and I am
right behind you. Spray the ceiling
so it doesn’t collapse on us. Did
you find the second classroom yet?
I think I found it. Stand back and
hold onto the hose I am going to
drop it so I can slam the door with
my axe. Ready? (He takes a full
swing with the axe with smoke
clouding his vision) The door
cracked. One more blow ought to do
it. You OK?
I am OK. My oxygen is on. I can’t
see anything but smoke. Is the door
Yeah, damm, I got it. The door is
down. Stand back for a blast of hot
air. OK, clear, let’s blast the
hell out of this room to kill the
flames and smoke. Tell the CHIEF on
your walkie we are going to need a
second hose in here right away. Too
many classrooms are up in flames
for just the two of us.
I found the source of the fire, but
the room is trashed, walls burn
out, windows blown out and the
ceiling is gone. We are dosing it
(Talking on his walkie talkie)
Chief can you hear me? Send up
another two men with another hose.
The fire is too big for us to
handle. Do you confirm?
FIRE CHIEF BUTCH LONG
I hear you. We are sending up two
more men with another hose. Keep
trying to suppress the flames from
spreading any further. Hang in
there the next crew is headed up
the ladder. Get those men moving up
that ladder. Hold the water until
they get in the window.
We have got the flames out in the
second room. The first room next to
the stairs is next. It looks like a
Nurses office (cough), lots of
smoke. We’ll hose it down next.
The second team makes it though the window and the water was
turned on. They begin hosing down the other classrooms
enveloped in flame. An hour later the fires were all out, and
only smoke remains and the smell of burnt wood.
FIRE CHIEF BUTCH LONG (50S)
(Later on around 12:30 pm) Where is
the Principal? I need to talk with
the Principal right away to inform
him of the status of the building.
I think he is out in front of the
FIRE CHIEF BUTCH LONG
(Walking to the front of the school
building) Where is Mr. Woorley?
FIREMAN #1 (CONT’D)
(Shouting to the Fire Chief) Over
here Chief. So what is the
FIRE CHIEF BUTCH LONG
(Speaking to NED WOORLEY) We have
put the fire out and are mopping up
now. I toured the building on the
first and second floor. The first
floor library sustained a lot of
water damage from the water leaking
through from the classrooms above
it on the second floor. The second
floor we need to get some
commercial fans to blow out the
smoke for 24-48 hours.
My boys will bring some commercial
fans back front the firehouse and
put them in place tonight.
Upstairs on the second floor five
classrooms are charred. You lost
the Nurses office also, and the
ceiling and floor tiles are also
destroyed. I estimate you have
several hundred thousand in fire
damage, which I am sure your
insurance company will cover. Now
for the problem at hand.
I cannot release the building
until we remove the smoke and close
off the damaged areas. Your
students will have to go home
without coats and their books
tonight. I know that is a hardship,
but no one can go back into the
building until we can clean the
whole building of smoke.
That is real bad news. Now I am
going to have to send one of my
Assistant Principals up to the High
school to notify the Superintendent
of Schools Sam Woodruff that we
need buses immediately. We need to
also inform him that the students
will have to go home without coats
in this November weather.
Sam can you take your car and drive
up to the High School, and call the
SUPERINTENDENT of SCHOOLS and
request school buses immediately to
take all the Cucamonga Junior High
OK, I am on it. I will be back in
2 INT. CUCAMONGA JHS SOCCER FIELD-DAY. 2
(Talking to a few students lined up
on the Soccer field) Anyone get
their coat? I have mine in the
locker in the school and boy it is
getting cold out here.
Yeah, my leather jacket is in the
school locker also and all I have
is this thin short sleeve shirt.
SUZY SMITZ (13)
I am freezing too. My legs are
frozen in this mini-skirt. So much
for fashion. When are we going to
get out jackets and go home? It has
been hours since the fire started.
I missed my lunch hour too.
RICHARD WHITE (13)
Boy am I hungry. Just my luck to
miss lunch and when are we getting
back in the school?
3 EXT. SOCCER FIELD IN FRONT OF THE SCHOOL-DAY. 3
(Using a portable bull horn)
Attention students and faculty.
NED WOORLEY (CONT’D)
I have just spoken with the Fire
Chief and he has informed me that
the fire is tentatively out for now
but the thick smoke is still on the
second floor making visibility
impossible. The FIRE CHIEF has
informed me that he cannot release
the building until commercial fans
can be brought in to blow the smoke
out of the halls and classrooms on
the second floor. The library is
completely flooded and cannot be
used. Therefore, I know it isn’t
pleasant but we are ordering the
buses to pick us up now and take
everyone home without their coats
or book bags. No one will be
allowed to enter the building for
24-48 hours. Police patrols will be
on duty all night to protect the
school. I am sorry for this
inconvenience but we have to listen
to the FIRE CHIEF he is the one
4 EXT. SOCCER FIELD IN FRONT OF THE SCHOOL-DAY. 4
Damm, I can’t believe we have to go
home with no coats.
I have thin blood, and I cannot
take this cold without a coat.
5 EXT. SOCCER FIELD, TEACHERS STANDING ON FIELD-DAY. 5
Well folks, it looks like I lucked
out going out for lunch. I have my
jacket on me.
Has anyone seen Mrs. Meg Angelo
NED WOORLEY (CONT’D)
I think someone said she was at the
back of the building where the
teacher lounge teachers went.
SUE can you take the golf cart and
look around the back of the school
to see if Mrs. ANGELO is OK.
I will check MEG out right away.
The golf cart is over by the
janitors room fortunately far away
from the side of the building with
(Ten Minutes later) Sue did you
find MRS. ANGELO?
Yes, she is OK but a little shaken
up that the fire started in her
Ned, we have a major problem. One
of the teachers, SAM MOONSKI told
me one of the boys in his class is
missing. The student asked to go to
the bathroom shortly before the
FIRE ALARM went off, and in the
confusion of leaving the classroom,
MR. MOONSKI did not realize that
the student BARRY NEEDLES(13) was
missing. He just happened to count
all his students while they were
line up outside and he was one
student short. After asking the
students in his class they reminded
him that BARRY NEEDLES went to the
bathroom just before the FIRE
ALARM. What should we do? I have
asked around all the classes line
up outside and no on knows where
BARRY NEEDLES is. SAM MOONSKI says
he is a 7th grader, small in size
wearing blue pants and a red and
white striped golf shirt. He wears
glasses and has light blonde hair
in a short cut.
A missing student. Oh, no. Now we
find out. CHIEF I need to speak
with you. CHIEF we just discovered
we have a missing student by the
name of BARRY NEEDLES. He is a
small 7th grader dressed in blue
pants and a striped red and white tshirt.
He has light blond hair in a
short cut and wears glasses.
He went to the bathroom on the
second floor of the far wing of the
school. The far wing is on the
other side of the school from where
the fire was.
FIRE CHIEF BUTCH LONG
Well that is a major problem. I can
dispatch some of my men to search
the building for this student. I am
not confident that if he was
anywhere near the fire that he
could have survived. Can you show
or tell me where the boys bathroom
is located that he would have used?
I think so but I will have to ask
Mr. Moonski his teacher what boys
bathroom is closer to his science
classroom. Sue you have the golf
cart, can you go around to where
Mr. MOONSKI and his class are and
find out where the nearest boys
bathroom might be located.
This is my worst fear, losing one
student out of 1,000 students is
easy to do. The timing was bad with
the fire Drill going off just after
BARRIE NEEDLES left the classroom.
I am worried NED.
The fireman begin to search the building. A half hour goes by
and still no word. The buses have begin to arrive and the
students are boarding them and going home.
NED WOORLEY, SAM KELP, SUE BLACKBERG, JOHN CARDONE, BILL
MEDLEY, WALT WILLEY, and NORMA NEWSOM, and SAM MOONSKI, all
wait for word about missing BARRIE NEEDLES.
Please GOD help them find this kid.
I can’t take anymore stress I have
to sit down for a little bit.
Are you OK NED? You don’t look
well. I have a bottle of water do
you want some?
Yes, let me have a little water.
This missing student thing is
killing me. I feel a little light
headed. I need to sit down.
FIRE CHIEF BUTCH LONG
Mr. Woorley we haven’t found any
bodies in the fire area or in the
bathrooms. We searched the entire
building. We will keep looking all
night but the outcome does not look
What am I going to tell this kids
mother and father? Oh, my God why
is this happening?
FIRE CHIEF BUTCH LONG
The student in question may have
collapsed from smoke inhalation or
he may still be hiding somewhere in
the school. We just don’t know.
There is a lot of smoking debris in
the classrooms, and my men said
they did not recover a body
anywhere in the ashes.
I can’t tell the Superintendent of
Schools about this until I am
absolutely positive as to what
happened to this student.
Maybe he got out of the school and
walked home. Junior high students
are known to do stupid things like
We need some answers and before it
gets dark in a few hours. CHIEF
what do you recommend?
FIRE CHIEF BUTCH LONG
You can go home and I can put you
on call if we find something we
will call you first thing. There is
nothing you can do here. Let us do
our work and maybe this will turn
out well in the end.
Well, it is my responsibility to
call Mr. and Mrs. Needles. It
really pains me to have to tell
Barrie’s parents that he is missing
in a school fire. Oh, well. I will
call him when I get home.
All of the teachers and administrators reluctantly go home to
wait for the dreaded call from the Fire Chief.
Somewhere in the school building in a Janitors cleaning
closet, a frightened boy lies crying and curled up in a room
that is locked from the outside. When the smoke started to
move down the hallway he hid in a room with a slightly ajar
door, which turned out to be a Janitorial closet, that had a
self locking mechanism in the door. When BARRIE hid in the
closet as the smoke enveloped the hallway the door locked
closed. He banged and kicked the door again, and again, but
he could not budge the locked door. The closet was full of
cleaning supplies, pails and mops with a strong smell of
ammonia in the air. BARRIE NEEDLES(13) was alone in a locked
closet, and no one knew where he was. Barrie is a small 7th
grader with wire rim glasses, light brown hair, freckles, and
a short pug nose. His hair is a crew cut style).
6 INT. IN A JANITORIAL CLOSET IN CUCAMONGA JUNIOR 6
BARRIE NEEDLES is curled up in a pre-natal position falling
asleep, with smoke seeping under the door, and smoke
enveloping the hallway outside the closet. The light bulb
overhead flickers, and then goes out, and then there was
nothing but darkness. Barrie cries in the dark void of the
BARRIE NEEDLES (13)
Help. Help me someone. (Cough)
(crying) Mommy, I am sorry.
FADE TO BLACK.
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