Categories
Educational Articles

Don’t Be Square

A TV pilot script by Dr. Pelham Mead. (c) 2018.

DON’T BE SQUARE
A TV PILOT SCRIPT
By Dr. Pelham Mead III
ACT ONE-THE TEACHING PROFESSION
SCENE 1-INT. -SPRING VALLEY, NEW YORK-DAY.
FADE IN:
NARRATOR:
Every kid at one time or another wants to become a teacher, but it is never that easy. This is the story of the birth of a Junior High school in upstate New York in the 1960’s in Spring Valley, New York and the faculty that helped make it an outstanding school. What students don’t take into consideration is the politics in teaching, the relationships among faculty members, student demonstrations and annoying weekly fake bomb scares. Yes the 1960’s was a generation more unique than any before or after. Some of the social movements started in the 1960’s extended into the early 1970’s like the anti-Vietnam war movement, the Civil Rights movement, the experimental drug era, the free sex era, and lastly, the free love era. Many of these social movements had an effect on teachers in the 1960’s and 1970’s that made teaching more difficult than in the past. This is the story of one Junior high school in Spring Valley, New York that after the Tappan Zee bridge was built all of Rockland county began to exploded with housing. The teacher strikes in New York city forced parents to move to the suburbs to get a good education that was not hindered by the big politics of New York city and it’s very large teacher union. Kakiat Junior high school in the East Ramapo Central school district was directly affect by this shift in population. In the 1950’s Spring Valley had barely 50 students in the one high school senior class. When Kakiat Junior high opened it had 600 students with a project rise to 600 in a few years. As the school grew so did the growing problems in the school and in the community. This is the story of Kakiat Junior high school and it’s dedicated faculty of teachers that made Kakiat a great place for students to learn. We shall loosely follow the career of Dr. Pelham Mead who began as a Physical Education teacher recently out of college with both a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree in Education. Dr. Mead would meet and become life-long friends with Richard (Rick) Knapp from Syracuse, and John Caldone from Trenton, New Jersey.
The story begins before Dr. Mead was hired in 1967. Kakiat Junior high was being built starting in early 1958 and was scheduled to be completed in the fall of 1960. Unfortunately, construction fell behind the summer of 1960 and the auditorium seats were never delivered.
SCENE 1-EXT.-KAKIAT JUNIOR HIGH CONSTRUCTION SITE-DAY.
FADE IN:
NARRATOR:
Let me set the scene. There are piles of wood everywhere, and a backhoe parked nearby. Many trucks are parked in the background. In the front of the brick building, the glass with taped X in the front hallway. The date is August 1960.
Note: Hal Green is a clean shaven job foreman with a balding head, and short stout body and horn rimmed glasses.
HAL GREEN(50), JOB FOREMAN
(Talking to another construction worker outside the school building) Well it looks like we aren’t going to finish this job on time for the opening on September 5th.
Note: Bard Sloan is an overweight short man with a clean shaven face. He is dressed in construction work pants and light brown jacket.
BARD SLOAN (40) CONSTRUCTION WORKER
That’s too bad. There are going to be a lot of unhappy parents and students.
HAL GREEN, JOB FOREMAN
Yeah, about 600 unhappy students to be exact.
BARD SLOAN, CONSTRUCTION WORKER
What’s holding up the job?
HAL GREEN, JOB FOREMAN
The auditorium seats have not come in yet. We are also five unfinished classrooms left on the second floor.
BARD SLOAN, CONSTRUCTION WORKER
Wow, that’s a lot to do. Well I have to get back to work. See you later boss.
Fade out.
SCENE 2- INT.-SUPERINTENDENT’S OFFICE-DAY.
FADE IN:
Susan is a tall thin attractive woman with long blonde hair and a tight red skirt and white blouse. Susan is and ambitious women who will stop at nothing to advance herself in her career, even if it means having an affair with her boss.
MRS. SUSAN ADLER (40) SECRETARY
Hello, Superintendent Woodcraft’s office, Mrs. Adler speaking. How may I help you?
HAL GREEN(50) JOB FOREMAN
Hello, I would like to speak to the Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Woodruff, please. This is Mr. Green, the Foreman on the Kakiat school construction.”
MRS. SUSAN ADLER, SECRETARY
Yes, one minute Mr. Green. I will put Superintendent Woodrift on the line for you. (Shouting into the next room) Mr. Green the Job Foreman on line 2 sir.
Note: Sam Woodruff is an older man, age 60 with grey hair cut short and clean shaven. He is married with two children and is not Jewish, but a Catholic. Sam is a secretive man with many ghosts in his closet.
SAM WOODRUFF(60) SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS
Ok, I got it, Hello,
HAL GREEN, JOB FOREMAN
Hi, Mr. Woodruff, this is foreman Green speaking.
SAM WOODRUFF, SUPT.
Yes what can I do for you Mr. Green?
HAL GREEN, JOB FOREMAN
Well, Sir I am afraid I have some bad news for you.
SAM WOODRUFF, SUPT.
Yes what is it? (In an angry manner)
HAL GREEN, JOB FOREMAN
The chairs for the auditorium for Kakiat Junior High School have not arrived yet. In addition, we are five classrooms behind in finishing, Sir.
SAM WOODRUFF, SUPT.
Are you shitting me! Here it is September 2nd, three days away from opening, and you are telling me we are not going to finish on time? What the hell am I going to do now? We sent out 600 letters back in August, to the new Kakiat JHS students about opening day on Sept. 5th.
HAL GREEN, JOB FOREMAN
May I suggest Sir, that we lock the auditorium, and block off all access to the five unfinished classrooms on the second floor, front hallway.
SAM WOODRUFF, SUPT.
What about the building inspector? He is never going to give us a CO with the building unfinished.
HAL GREEN, JOB FOREMAN
Don’t worry about the building inspector, we will slip him some money to go away until the building is done.
SAM WOODRUFF, SUPT. OF SCHOOLS.
You can do that?
HAL GREEN, JOB FOREMAN
Let me worry about that, Sir.
SAM WOODRUFF, SUPT. OF SCHOOLS.
Ok, I want action and fast.
SAM WOODRUFF, SUPT. OF SCHOOLS.
Miss Adler, get me the President of the Board of Education, Mr. Grossberg, and Mr. Flemingberg, the Teacher’s Union President, on the phone right away.
NARRATOR:
Supt. Woodruff begins pacing back and forth and looking out his office windows. The administration building was an old brick building that was originally the Spring Valley High school before the war. It was three stories high with the old fashioned high ceilings and high windows. The Superintendent’s office was on the third floor over-looking a shopping center next door.
HAL GREEN, JOB FOREMAN
Thank you Sir, goodbye.
SAM WOODRUFF, SUPT. OF SCHOOLS.
Mrs. Adler, get me the President of the Board of Education, Mr. Grossberg, and Mr. Flemingberg, the Teachers Union President on the phone right away.
Sam begins pacing back and forth, looking out the windows of his office. A few minutes later the phone rings.
MRS. SUSAN ADLER, SECRETARY
(Shouting) Mr. Woodruff, Mr. Flemingberg, Principal of Kakiat Junior High, calling on line 2.
SAM WOODRUFF, SUPT. OF SCHOOLS.
Hello Bill, I just wanted to let you know we have a problem with the opening day at Kakiat Junior High school. The auditorium has no seats yet, and we are five classrooms upstairs away from finishing. I just wanted to keep you informed. Please tell your teachers that regardless of what gossip they hear, we will open on Sept. 5th with a faculty development day. Students will report on Sept. 6th at 9:05 am.
BILL FLEMINGBERG (40) TEACHER’S UNION PRESIDENT.
Than you SAM. I will notify all our Union Members that is business as usual at Kakiat Junior High school and all teachers assigned to that new school are to report in at 9:05 on Sept. 5th.
SAM WOODRUFF, SUPT. OF SCHOOLS.
Thanks Bill, I will keep you informed, gotta run, bye.
Phone rings again.
MRS. SUSAN ADLER, SECRETARY
Mr Grossberg is on line 3 sir.
SAM WOODRUFF, SUPT. OF SCHOOLS.
Thank you Ms. Adler, I got it.
SAM WOODRUFF, SUPT. OF SCHOOLS.
Good morning Sam, Shalom. How are you today?
Note: Sam Grossberg is a Orthodox Jewish man with a full face beard and thick black hair, bushy eyebrows and a large nose. He speaks with a Jewish accent.
SAM GROSSBERG(60) PRES. OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION-
Good and you?
SAM WOODRUFF, SUPT. OF SCHOOLS
Sam we have a problem with the construction at Kakiat Junior High school. The auditorium seats have not yet been delivered, and they have five more classrooms on the second floor to finish.
SAM GROSSBERG
Wow are we going to open on time?
SAM WOODRUFF, SUPT.
Yes we are going to open on Sept. 5th for the faculty conferences, but the upstairs will be blocked off and the auditorium will be locked.
SAM GROSSBERG
OK, I am glad we have a backup plan or the parents will be calling me night and day.
SAM WOODRUFF, SUPT.
I will keep you informed Sam, have a nice day.
SAM GROSSBERG
Goodbye Sam.
SAM WOODRUFF, SUPTERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS.
(Dialing out on a 1960 rotary phone) Hello Principal Woorley? This is Superintendent Woodruff. I have some good and bad news for you. Which do your want first?
Note: Ray Chisamore was an old grey haired man that was originally an Assistant Principal at Spring Valley Junior high school and was promoted to Principal of the New Kakiat Junior High school. Ray was old school in many ways and inflexible when it came to school rules.
RAY CHISAMORE (61) PRINCIPAL OF KAKIAT JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL
What is the bad news.
SAM WOODRUFF, SUPT.
Well the construction on your school is running behind schedule. Your auditorium chairs have not been delivered yet, and five classrooms upstairs rooms 201, 202,203,204, and 205 are not finished yet.
RAY CHISAMORE, PRINCIPAL
Are we going to open on Sept. 5th?
SAM WOODRUFF, SUPT.
Yes, but with restrictions. The second floor font stairway will have to be blocked off by your staff and the auditorium will have to be locked.
RAY CHISAMORE, PRINCIPAL
So what is the good news?”
SAM WOODRUFF, SUPT.
The good news Ned is you’re going to open on Sept. 5th for the faculty conference day.
RAY CHISAMORE, PRINCIPAL
Great, I will get on the closures right away on the second floor, and auditorium. Thanks you, and have a nice day.
(HANGS UP)
RAY CHISAMORE, PRINCIPAL
Helen Marino call the Assistant Principal Herman Kaspar, and have him modify the class schedule and move rooms 201 to 205 to different rooms. If there are not rooms available the small cafeteria will be available except periods 3,4, and 5 during lunchtime. Also have him inform the faculty and staff that construction will go on during school hours and the auditorium is off limits and will be locked until the chairs arrive.
MRS. SUSAN GREY, SECRETARY
I am calling him right now, Mr. Chisamore.
RAY CHISAMORE, PRINCIPAL
What are I going to do about the parents? Should they be informed? It is probably too late for that
(Talking out loud to himself).
Back at the Superintendent of Schools office.
SAM WOODRUFF, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS
Susan do your want to come into my office please? Well, it has been a most stressful day Susan. How are you holding up?
SUSAN ADLER, SECRETARY
Yes, it was pretty stressful Sam. Are you going home now or are you going to stay after a while?
SAM WOODRUFF, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS
I was planning on showing you the book closet Susan. Would you be interested in seeing my book closet? Lock the office door for me, please.
SUSAN ADLER, SECRETARY
I am excited to see your book closet Sam. What do you have in it?
SAM WOODRUFF, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS
I have some champaign for the both of us, and some glasses. Step into my book closet. Would you like some champaign Susan?
SUSAN ADLER, SECRETARY
You know it makes me dizzy Sam.
SAM WOODRUFF, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS
You are a lot sexier, when you are dizzy. Come over here, and let me hug you.
SUSAN ADLER, SECRETARY
Remember our agreement Sam, if I have an affair with you the position as Director of Personnel will be mine.
SAM WOODRUFF, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS
Yes, yes, I promised Susan, and I plan to announce to the board that you are being promoted. I already gave Mr. Bernstein, Personnel Director, notice to vacate the Personnel office by the end of the month.
SUSAN ADLER, SECRETARY
You are a sweetie. Does your wife have any idea that we are having an affair?
SAM WOODRUFF, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS
No, I always tell her I have to work late on a project or the Board meeting ran late. She suspects nothing.
SUSAN ADLER, SECRETARY
Let me snuggle up close to you Sam. How about if I rub this area in your pants does that excite you?
SAM WOODRUFF, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS
I want to take a look at those huge breasts of yours Susan. They always give me an erection.
SUSAN ADLER, SECRETARY
You can touch them, but be gentle. Last time you left black and blue marks on my breasts. Take off your pants Sam. I am beginning to desire you.
SAM WOODRUFF, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS
How about this? (Dropping his pants to the floor) and pulling down his boxer shorts. Well, look at that, my penis is already aroused.
SUSAN ADLER
I am going to lay down on this table Sam. Come and lay on top of me.
An hour later.
SAM WOODRUFF, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS
I have to get home now, Susan. You were wonderful tonight. I will dream about us tonight. Let me get dressed, and we can lock up the office as we leave.
FADE OUT.
SCENE 3- INT.-FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL-DAY.
FADE IN:
NARRATOR:
The Scene is the school library with stacks of books behind folding chairs all facing the librarian’s counter. A table with a large 40-cup coffee machine and donuts is on the side of the room. The windows are on one side of the room, and the other side of the room is the entrance door and the exit door in the back of the room.
FADE IN:
Note: Ray Chisamore is an older man with grey hair and a short mustache. He is clean shaven and about five feet eight inches tall.
RAY CHISAMORE (61) PRINCIPAL OF KAKIAT JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL.
Good morning ladies, and gentlemen. Welcome to the first Kakiat Junior High 1960-61 season. For those of you that are new to the East Ramapo School district, welcome to your new home. I hope you had a satisfying and enjoying summer. We administrators came back in August to set up the new course schedule, and assign teachers to all the classes. This year will be challenging for those of you who followed me from Spring Valley South Junior high to this new school called Kakiat Junior High.
FADE TO BLACK.
FADE IN:
NARRATOR:
Herman Kaspar is a career assistant principal who had a crew cut hair style. He had light brown hair and is clean shaven and a little over-weight. He had been passed over for the position as Principal several times.
RAY CHISAMORE, PRINCIPAL
I want to introduce my assistant principal, Mr. Herman Kaspar. Herman Kaspar is in charge of the school budget, purchasing of supplies, and inventory in the school. Does anyone have any questions so far?
OK, now for the construction problems you may have noticed when you entered the building. The construction is not officially finished yet. The chairs for the auditorium have not been delivered yet, so the auditorium will remained locked until the seats are delivered, and installed. Five classrooms on the second floor first hallway have not been finished yet. The construction will continue on a 12-hour basis until it is completed. The upstairs hallway will be closed off to students, and staff until it is finished.
I am asking you to be patient, and bear with us with this construction situation, until it is over. I have had Mr. Kaspar move five teachers who would have been assigned to those classrooms on the second floor to other classrooms for now. Some teachers may have to use the small cafeteria during some periods when no other classrooms are available. This will only be temporary. I want to emphasize, in a month or less this will all be finished, and we can return to normal.
FADE OUT.
Note: Phil Spina is a large 400 pound teacher who wears glasses and has a clean shaven face. He is grossly overweight to the point it had affected his walk.
PHIL SPINA (30) ENGLISH TEACHER
(Leans over to Frank DeCarlo and whispers) Here we go with the usual parade of new teachers.
Note: Frank DeCarlo is a tall, thin, man who is of Italian heritage and proud of it. He is also a talented tenor singer. He an outspoken teacher and well liked by many teachers.
FADE IN:
FRANK DECARLO (32) ENGLISH
At least we have more teachers to handle to additional enrollment this past summer.
RAY CHISAMORE, PRINCIPAL
Let me introduce our Department Chairmen who came from Spring Valley Junior High with me. Milt Levine, English Department Chairman, Paul Lewis, Math Department Chairman, Mat Gorosky, Science Chairman, and Fred Tunis, Social Studies Department chairman. We have many new teachers also which I will let them introduce themselves.
FADE OUT.
NARRATOR:
During the course of the faculty meeting in the library hammering sounds could be heard upstairs above the library and electric saws. It was a clue of what was to come during the first fall. The meeting continued for over an hour.
FADE OUT.
SCENE 4- INT.-THE MUSIC ROOM-DAY.
FADE IN:
One week later.
NARRATOR:
It was hard to explain how poor the teaching conditions really were with construction ongoing during the day. The sounds of electric saws and hammers pounding all day made teaching impossible. The teachers had no choice, so they plodded through each day for months.
FADE IN:
Note: Earl Klock was a tall thin man that was well liked by his students. He was married to the head Librarian Nadia Klock, a tall blonde attractive woman.
EARL KLOCK, MUSIC CHAIRMAN (50)
I tried to do a flute lesson today but the banging noises in the auditorium made it impossible. At least the auditorium chairs finally arrived today, and they should get them installed by next week.
Note: Bertha Best was a large black woman who was single. She often wore bright colored dresses.
MRS. BERTHA BEST, MUSIC TEACHER (30)
I agree, it was easier to have a study hall, rather than compete with hammers, and saws, making all kinds of noise. I hope they finish the auditorium soon.
EARL KLOCK, MUSIC CHAIRMAN
I don’t know how we are going to survive? I was tempted to take them outside, but the administration will never allow that?
Suddenly a Rip Saw lets go with a loud sound that drowns out Earl and Bertha. Brrrrrr, rrrrrrr.
EARL KLOCK, MUSIC CHAIRMAN
You see, that is what a mean? What an unbelievable sound.
BERTHA BEST, MUSIC
You cannot hear your-self think.
EARL KLOCK, MUSIC CHAIRMAN
Right you are about that.
FADE OUT.
SCENE 5- INT.-FRED TUNIS’ SOCIAL STUDIES CLASS-DAY.
FADE IN:
The hammering and sawing continued every day since the opening of the school.
Note: Fred Tunis was a heavy set man who was a part-time State Trooper in the summer. His bald head had just a few remaining hairs on the sides. He was famous for collecting the most transparencies of the entire staff.
FRED TUNIS (40) SOCIAL STUDIES CHAIRMAN
So the British in an attempt to regain some of their lost profits The British decided to (Bang, bang, bang) tea.
BILLY GREENBERG (13)
What was that Mr. Tunis.
FRED TUNIS, SOCIAL STUDIES
I said, they decided to tax (Sawing sounds) (Fred waits until the saw stops)(Pause) the colonists for buying tea.
BILLY GREENBERG
Thank you Mr. Tunis.
FRED TUNIS
Maybe it would be better if I used a bull horn?
The class all laughs.
FRED TUNIS
The colonists drank only tea in those days so raising the price of tea was most (bang, bang). The colonists organized a raid on the tea on the ships in (Bang, bang, saw sounds) Harbor. Can anyone hear me?
BILL GREENBERG
Not really Mr. Tunis.
FRED TUNIS
Oh the hell with it. Take out your books, and read chapter 5.
FADE OUT.
ACT TWO- 1967.
SCENE 1- INT.-FIRST DAY FACULTY MEETING-DAY.
FADE IN:
RAY CHISAMORE, PRINCIPAL
Good morning everyone, welcome back those of you that taught here last year. This is our seventh year at Kakiat Junior High, and we have come a long way since moving into the school in 1960, when a great deal of the construction was not finished. Welcome to the twenty new teachers this year. The East Ramapo Central School district hired 300 new teachers to meet the increasing student enrollment. When we first opened we had 400 students at Kakiat Junior High, and about 50 full, and part-time teachers. Now we have 70 full, and part-time teachers and 650 students for grades 7,8, and 9. Let me introduce some of the new teachers.
For Social Studies we have John Caldone from Ryder College, Rick Knapp, Science teacher from Syracuse University, Becky Mason in Music, Tom Spalding in English, Al Malden in Social Studies, Ann Kosiar in Math, Mrs. Elsie Lee in Home Economics. Our Physical Education department has four new teachers, Naomi Newman, who was a student teacher here last year, Renee’ Torbin, Pelham Mead, and Bob Dilley. I am sure I missed some names so would you please stand, and tell us your name and your subject area please?
Some teachers talking at the back of the room.
PHIL SPINA (38) ENGLISH
Wow, did you see the rack on that Female Physical Education teacher? What was her name again Renee’ something?
Paul Lewis is a small Jewish man with thin black hair and a clean shaven face. He was in line to take over the Math department after Marty Knockinson retired.
PAUL LEWIS, MATH (50)
Yeah, she really is stacked. She is going to be the topic of conversation in the teacher cafeteria this year for sure.
PHIL SPINA
And she wears a tight sweater to draw attention to herself. Interesting?
PAUL LEWIS, MATH
You will get over it Phil. Remember you are a married man.
PHIL SPINA
Yes, you are right Paul. But, it is not everyday that we get new good looking teachers joining our ranks.
PAUL LEWIS, MATH
Just let it go. Let’s grab a bagel and some coffee.
FADE OUT.
FADE IN:
The assistant Principal Herman Kaspar circulates around the room during the break.
HERMAN KASPAR (40) ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL
Good morning Gentlemen, I see you are new here. I am Mr. Kaspar the Assistant Principal at Kakiat Junior High.
Note: Pelham is a born and bred New Yorker. He has a Masters degree from Springfield College, well known for developing excellent Physical Education teachers. Pelham is a thin six foot man with light brown hair in a crew cut style.
PELHAM MEAD (23) PE TEACHER
Hi my name is Pel, and I will be teaching Physical Education.
HERMAN KASPAR
What college do you come from Pel?
PELHAM MEAD, PE
I come from Springfield College in Springfield, Mass. I got my Bachelors, and Masters degrees there.
HERMAN KASPAR
Great. We don’t get many teachers with Masters degrees starting off as new teachers. What are your names gentlemen?
Note: Rick Knapp was a baseball athlete at Syracuse University and came from upstate New York. He was just under six feet in height and had a short haircut and clean shaven face.
RICK KNAPP (23) SCIENCE TEACHER
Hi, I am Rick Knapp, and I just graduated from Syracuse University and spent a year teaching upstate. I will be teaching Science grades 7 and 8.
Note: John Caldone had a born smile on his face and was always telling jokes. He was an Italian man with a clean shaven face and thinning hair on his head.
JOHN CALDONE (22) SOCIAL STUDIES
My name is John Caldone, and I just graduated from Ryder College in New Jersey. I will be teaching Social Studies.
HERMAN KASPAR
Well, it is good to have you aboard Gentlemen. I hope you have a great year here at Kakiat Junior High.
Mr. Kaspar walks away.
JOHN CALDONE
Well what do you guys think of the Assistant Principal?
RICK KNAPP
He is a typical administrator. Don’t trust him.
FADE OUT.
SCENE 2- EXT.-FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS-DAY.
FADE IN:
NARRATOR:
It is the first day for students to report to school and the school busses are pulling in one after another, and unloading their load of students. The students are swarming in front of Kakiat Junior High meeting their old friends and comparing class schedules.
RAY CHISAMORE, PRINCIPAL
(Using a small bull horn outside the building) Good morning students and welcome to Kakiat Junior High school. If you have your schedules proceed to your homeroom immediately.
All the classrooms below room 200 are on the first floor extending out to the extension. Classes 200 and above are on the second floor.
If you do not have your class schedule go to the guidance department right away, and have them make you a copy.
ROGER GREENBERG (12) STUDENT
(Speaking to Billy Grossman) Well, here we are, 7th graders in a big school. I heard the real name was supposed to be Central Junior High, but the students from Spring Valley South Junior High that were transferred to the new school, got to vote on the name. They picked the ugliest name they could think of, Kakiat, after some local Native American tribe.
Note: Billy Grossman was a short Jewish boy with a crew cut hair style, designer jeans and leather jacket tell he has money.
BILLY GROSSMAN(12) STUDENT
Wow how did you learn all that?
ROGER GREENBERG, STUDENT
My mother told me.
BILLY GROSSMAN, STUDENT
Where the hell is room 106 I wonder?
ROGER GREENBERG, STUDENT
It is on the first floor after the library I think. I came to the orientation during the summer while the building was under construction, and they walked us through the hallways that were finished.
BILLY GROSSMAN, STUDENT
OK, see you at lunch, Roger.
ROGER GREENBERG, STUDENT
Yeah, see you then, duh? Be cool.
FADE OUT.
SCENE 3-EXT.-HILLCREST, NEW YORK-DAY.
FADE IN:
NARRATOR:
After the first staff day at school Pelham Mead returns to his newly rented home. Unfortunately, Mr. Mead has not had time to move his wife, son, and furniture into the house yet, so he has to sleep on a single mattress on the floor. Mrs. Levine, a kind old grey haired Jewish lady, is the landlord for the small house Pelham Mead is going to rent. The house he was renting was a summer bungalow converted into a year-round home with a floor heater and no insulation in the walls. There were only two small bedrooms, one bathroom, kitchen and living-room.
FADE IN:
PELHAM MEAD (24) PE TEACHER
(Speaking to the landlord Mrs. Levine)Good evening Mrs. Levine.
I am going to be moving my wife, son, and furniture into the house this weekend.
Note: Mrs. Ida Levine was an old Jewish widow with long grey hair and a thick German accent. She was only 5 feet tall 2 inches.
MRS. LEVINE (65), LANDLORD
That is good, I will only charge you for three weeks instead of four.
PELHAM MEAD, PE TEACHER
Thank you Mrs. Levine. It is great finding a home only three miles from the school that I work in. It will save me on commuting time. Can I use your phone Mrs. Levine to call the Heating and Electric company to turn on the electricity? I have to also call the phone company to install a phone in my home.
MRS. LEVINE, LANDLORD
Sure come in to my kitchen and you can call from there. I will make us a cup of tea.
PELHAM MEAD-PE TEACHER
Thank you Mrs. Levine.
Two days later in Freeport, New York at Pelham Mead’s mother-in-laws house (Ruth Luna), on a Saturday.
PELHAM MEAD, PE TEACHER
Ok honey, it will be a few hours before we get upstate, so stay close behind me especially on the Throgs Neck bridge toll. I have to pay cash, so I will wait for you after the toll in case I get through before you.
Jeri and Pel were high school sweethearts. Jeri had a pixie style short hair cut and stood five feet four inches tall.
JERI MEAD (20) WIFE OF PELHAM MEAD
Sure Pel, Dean and I will be fine with Buster our cat.
PELHAM MEAD, PE TEACHER
Thank you Mrs. Luna for allowing us to stay at your house, until we moved into a new home at my new job upstate in Spring Valley, New York.
JERI MEAD
I have already thanked Mom.
PELHAM MEAD, PE TEACHER
Well then let’s move out. The truck is loaded thanks to your cousins helping, and your brother Al.
FADE OUT.
Three hours later that day after a long drive from Long Island to Spring Valley, New York.
FADE IN:
PELHAM MEAD, PE TEACHER
Well here we are Jeri. I will start unpacking, while you, and Dean can take a bathroom break. I will unload the bed frame for the mattress I purchased. Then I have to put together the couch that my father made out of a door.
JERI MEAD
I will give you a hand with the small boxes of clothing. Dean will have his own bedroom, and have we have a nice large master bedroom.
PELHAM MEAD, PE TEACHER
Be careful the heater is in the floor under a metal grate. I will show you later how to turn it on. The stove is gas, also, and the water heater. I will put most of the stuff in the far side of the living room so we have room to sleep in the bedroom tonight.
JERI MEAD-
Well, we need to take a break after several hours of unloading, and three hours driving up to East Ramapo Central . I will make some tuna sandwiches with the food I brought with us.
Dean is only two years of age but beyond his age with his vocabulary. He had light blonde/brown hair to his ears and tanned skin from a summer in California.
DEAN M. MEAD (2) SON OF PEL MEAD
Dad do I get my own bed? Yes, Dean I ordered your bed the other day and it should be here tonight or tomorrow. OK?
DEAN MEAD
Thanks dad.
JERI MEAD-
The tuna sandwiches are ready Pel, lets sit on the cartons, and have a late lunch.
PELHAM MEAD, PE TEACHER
Sounds like a plan. Honey we have a TV antenna on the roof for our TV reception. I may have to borrow a ladder, and adjust it slightly to get the local channels. It should work well with our 15 inch TV.
JERI MEAD-
That sound good. Dean likes to watch his cartoons on Saturday mornings.
PELHAM MEAD, PE TEACHER
We have to paint Dean’s room, to make it more of a child’s room, than just plain white. I heard that payday is the first week after school opens, which will help with the bills. After that, I think the school check will be every two weeks.
JERI MEAD
That is good because I can set up a budget for us.
PELHAM MEAD-PE TEACHER
I know things are a little tight right now, but once I get settled, I will be earning extra coaching money to help us pay the bills.
JERI MEAD
I understand, teachers aren’t rich.
PELHAM MEAD-PE TEACHER
You got that right.
FADE OUT:
NARRATOR:
Across town Rick Knapp settles in with his wife.
FADE IN:
RICK KNAPP (22) SCIENCE
I met the Assistant Principal, Herman Kaspar, today, and a lot of new teachers like myself. It looks like it is going to be an interesting first year at Kakiat Junior High school.
Cheryl is a young attractive high school teacher with light brown hair. She is an excellent cook and Home Economics teacher.
CHERYL KNAPP(22) HOME ECONOMICS TEACHER AT EAST RAMAPO CENTRAL SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL.
Great, maybe we can make some friends? I was assigned to Ramapo Senior high just down the street from Kakiat Junior High. We are bursting at the seams with students. I think I heard we have 1200 students enrolled?
Note: The Knapp’s dog is a mix of collie, and German Shepard, and a very intelligent dog called Kelly.
RICK KNAPP
Did you feed Kelly yet?
CHERYL KNAPP
I forgot to feed her.
RICK KNAPP
That’s OK I will do it. How was your first day at East Ramapo Central Senior High?
CHERYL KNAPP
We just got a new department chairperson, and additional tables and chairs will be provided for the larger classes we will have.
RICK KNAPP
I can sleep later in the morning, since I do not have to report to school until 9:00 am, but you have to be in school by 7:10 am. Wow, that is early.
CHERYL KNAPP
I am not happy about that 7:10 am starting time. At least I will get out earlier in the afternoon.
RICK KNAPP
I will take the dog for a walk.
FADE OUT.
NARRATOR:
At the new apartments around the corner from Kakiat Junior High John Caldone, and his family settle in.
FADE IN:
JOHN CALDONE (22) SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER
Well it is a two minute walk to work everyday, since Kakiat Junior High is just around the corner.
Note: Jennifer Caldone is a short Italian woman, attractive with a short hair style. She met John Caldone at Ryder College.
JENNIFER CALDONE(20) WIFE OF JOHN
That means I will have the car to go shopping.
JOHN CALDONE, SOCIAL STUDIES
Yes, by all means. I met some of the other new teachers today. The District hired 300 teachers in all, to handle the rapid expansion of the population in East Ramapo Central School district.
JENNIFER CALDONE
Your parents will want to see our apartment, so you better invite them next month sometime.
JOHN CALDONE
The Principal that hired me, Mr. Chisamore, is still there, and you can tell he is old school right from the beginning. We had to listen to one lecture, after another today. It was real boring.
JENNIFER CALDONE
How do you like the new school John?
JOHN CALDONE
It is OK. The small gym was just finished, so the school has two gyms now. It looks like I can earn some extra money coaching as an Assistant Football coach. The school has expanded to 700 students this year, after starting at 400 students back in 1960 when it first opened.
JENNIFER CALDONE
My parents are coming up from Jersey in a few weeks, so we have to get this apartment in shape by then.
JOHN CALDONE
No Problem, I will help on the weekends.
JENNIFER CALDONE
Car gasoline just went up to .38 cents a gallon yesterday. Gas is much more expensive in New York than New Jersey.
JOHN CALDONE
I will probably have to get another part-time job to help make ends meet.
JENNIFER CALDONE
My parents can loan us some money, if we run short of money.
JOHN CALDONE
I don’t want to take money from your parents. In Italian families they never let you forget that they loaned you some money.
JENNIFER CALDONE
Well we will see then.
FADE OUT.
SCENE 4- EXT.-THE TAPPAN ZEE BRIDGE?-DAY.
FADE IN:
Note: Bob Dilley was a tall six foot four Basketball play at Ithaca College, upstate New York. He was clean shaven with blonde hair in a crew cut style.
BOB DILLEY (23) PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHER
Hello Helen Marino, this is Bob Dilley speaking. I am going to be late for work today. My car broke down on the New York State Thruway with a broken fan belt. I am going to have to get it repaired at the gas station. Please tell Mr. Levitus to have someone cover my first two classes. Thank You.
Note: Helen was the secretary to the Principal. She was well liked by the faculty and staff. Her brown curly hair was a distinct feature to her style and dress. She spoke softly but the ear of the Principal when she needed it.
HELEN MARINO, SECRETARY (35)
OK, Mr. Dilley, I am sorry to hear about your car. We will cover your classes. I will tell Principal Shaw and Mr. Levitus. Take care and we will see you later this morning.
FADE OUT.
SCENE 5- INT.-KAKIAT JUNIOR HIGH TEACHER’S CAFETERIA-DAY.
FADE IN:
Note: Murray was one of the old time regulars that Ray CHisamore asked to move to the new junior high with. He enoyed being department chair and taught only two or three classes because of his large department.
MURRAY GOROWSKY(50), SCIENCE CHAIRMAN
(Talking to NAT MOLOFSKY(48) Earth science teacher) How is your class schedule this year?
NAT MOLOFSKY(48) EARTH SCIENCE TEACHER
Good, I guess, except I have Earth Science labs back to back with the lecture classrooms. That makes it a long day of teaching with few breaks, I heard that the school budget was turned down last spring. Is that true?
MURRAY GOROWSKY, SCIENCE CHAIRMAN
Yes, the Orthodox Jewish community votes as a voting block by busing their members to the voting centers to vote the Public school budgets down to save on property taxes. The East Ramapo Central school district gets no money from the State of New York for supporting the Yeshivas where the local Orthodox students go to school.
NAT MOLOFSKY, EARTH SCIENCE
That doesn’t sound fair. How many Yeshiva students are there?
MURRAY GOROSKY, SCIENCE CHAIRMAN
About 10,000 boys and girls in separate Yeshivas.
NAT MOLOFSKY, EARTH SCIENCE
That doesn’t seem right. What happened to our Swimming Pool they were going to put into the second courtyard?
MURRAY GOROSKY, SCIENCE CHAIRMAN
The swimming pool went down the drain in the budget vote last spring. The high school got a fancy facade for the front of the building, instead of the swimming pool at our school. It was all about politics. The Orthodox Jewish community thought they were going to save money by not installing the Swimming pool. Now the High School has to rent time in the local Community College swimming pool which is going to cost thousands of dollars a year.
NAT MOLOFSKY, EARTH SCIENCE
That is really a shame. Now we have that big empty courtyard full of weeks to look at, and no pool.
FADE OUT.
ACT THREE- PHYSICAL EDUCATION STORIES
SCENE 1- INT.-THE PE TEACHER IN HIGH HEELS-DAY.
FADE IN:
Note: Jerry was seven years older than Pel and Bob. He was a short thin Jewish man who had problems dealing with people. He was clean shaven with dark brown hair. He was married with three children, and came from Springfield College where Pelham Mead attended.
JERRY LEVITUS,(30) PE DEPARTMENT CHAIRPERSON
(Talking to Naomi Newman) Do you know where Shelly is today?
Naomi was six feet tall with thick black hair. She did her student teaching from New York University at Kakiat Junior High and was offered a job afterward. She was a caring mother and dedicated coach who had to work against an all male Physical Education environment.
MRS. NAOMI NEWMAN (21) PE TEACHER
She called in sick again Jerry.
JERRY LEVITUS, PE DEPARTMENT CHAIRMAN
Really, she has been absent 12 times in one month. What is her problem?
NAOMI NEWMAN, PE TEACHER
She is getting close to retirement and has taught for 30 years in this district. She was divorced five years back, and it hit her hard. I think she has problems, Jerry.
JERRY LEVITUS, PE CHAIRPERSON
Yeah, I figured she was having long term problems. I will have to talk to Mr. Chisamore about her. He seems to be close to her.
Later that day in the school main Office.
JERRY LEVITUS, PE CHAIRPERSON
Mr. Chisamore, Shelly is out sick for the 12th time this month. Do you think you can talk with her when she comes in next time?
RAY CHISAMORE, PRINCIPAL
Sure Sam, I have known Shelly for over 20 years now. We are old buddies. I will have a talk with her when she comes into school.
The next day.
PELHAM MEAD, PE TEACHER
Naomi, is Shelly in school today? I am getting tire of covering for her subs, who have no clue how to teach Physical Education.
NAOMI NEWMAN, PE TEACHER
She is in today but wearing high heels and a dress.
PELHAM MEAD, PE TEACHER
Really, what a surprise? She always wears high heels.
Narrator: A few minutes later Shelly comes walking into the gym in high heels and a dress skirt and blouse.
PELHAM MEAD, PE TEACHER
Are you going to change for class Shelly?
SHELLY GROSSMAN(60) PE TEACHER
I am sorry I forgot my sneakers and sweats.
PELHAM MEAD, PE TEACHER
We’re going out today, and it is muddy out. Are you going to walk through the mud in high heels?
SHELLY GROSSMAN, PE TEACHER
I guess so?
PELHAM MEAD, PE
All right boys, we are going out this morning. Get your sweatshirts on or jackets and meet me out on the Football field.
SHELLY GROSSMAN, PE TEACHER
Ok, girls lets go outdoors. Put your coats on if you want. We are going to walk one lap around the field before we play field hockey.”
JODIE GREENBLATT (13) STUDENT
Do we have to play Mrs. Grossman?
SHELLY GROSSMAN, PE TEACHER
Of course Jodie, exercise is good. Damm this mud. I cannot get it off my new high heels.
FADE OUT.
SCENE 2- EXT. DAY BOB DILLEY LATE TO WORK
BOB DILLEY (23) PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHER
Hello Helen Marino, this is Bob Dilley speaking. I am going to be late for work today. My car broke down on the New York State Thruway with a broken fan belt. I am going to have to get it repaired at the gas station. Please tell Mr. Levitus to have someone cover my first two classes. Thank You.
HELEN MARINO, SECRETARY
OK, Mr. Dilley, I am sorry to hear about your car. We will cover your classes. I will tell Principal Shaw and Mr. Levitus. Take care and we will see you later this morning.
FADE OUT.
ACT THREE- THE BLACK STUDENT CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
SCENE 1- INT. DAY- JEFFERSON JONES SOCIAL STUDIES CLASS.
FADE IN:
JEFFERSON JONES(35) BLACK SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER
(Talking to his Social Studies class) Your Social studies project is due this Friday. I expect some of you to do an excellent job on the project, since we spent so much time on it. (He looks directly at a few black students sitting in the back of the room)
Narrator: Jefferson Jones has a huge black afro hair style, and a small mustache. He wears horn rim glasses, and in his thirties.
BENJAMIN WILLIAMS (13) BLACK STUDENT
Was he looking at us?
JAMAL WASHINGTON(13) BLACK STUDENT
Got me brother, but I think he means for us black suckers to get our act together.
BENJAMIN WILLIAMS
What about those white students in class?
JAMAL WASHINGTON
I guess he doesn’t care about them?
JEFFERSON JONES, SOCIAL STUDIES
Do you have something to say Benjamin?
BENJAMIN WILLIAMS
No Man.
JEFFERSON JONES, SOCIAL STUDIES
No sir, you mean Benjamin.
The School Bell rings for the end of the class period. Everyone in the class jumps up and heads out of the classroom.
FADE OUT.
SCENE 2- INT. DAY – THE KAKIAT JUNIOR HIGH TEACHER CAFETERIA
Narrator: Later that day in the Teacher Cafeteria, Mr. Jefferson Jones, is sitting with militant white teachers David Greenburg, Sally Cochran, and Joe Hughes.
FADE IN:
JEFFERSON JONES, SOCIAL STUDIES
I tell you the Principal, Mr. Chisamore, hates black people.
DAVID GREENBURG(28) MATH TEACHER
How do you know that Jefferson?
JEFFERSON JONES
He uses terms like “your people,” when he is talking to me about other black teachers or black students.
ANN KOSIAR(27) MATH TEACHER
Really, well I am not surprised. Until they hired you there was only two other black teacher in the entire building, and that was JULIA TILLEY (40) THE ENGLISH TEACHER AND BERTHA BEST, MUSIC.
JEFFERSON JONES-
I asked Mr. Chisamore if we could celebrate some black holidays in class like Kwanzaa, and he did not even know what the holiday was or when it took place.
JOE HUGHES (24) SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER.
He is definitely old school white.
ANN KOSIAR, MATH
Did you know that East Ramapo Central School District was cited by the Federal Government for being segregated in its schools back in the 1950’s? The government gave the school one year to clean up its act, and integrate all its schools or loose federal Title I money, and any other federal supported funding, as well as State funding.
JOE HUGHES, SOCIAL STUDIES.
Did they comply?
ANN KOSIAR, MATH.
You better believe they did. That is why North Junior high has black students in an all white neighborhood. They bussed the black students from the hill, downtown, to North Junior high, just to balance the blacks with the white students.
JEFFERSON JONES, SOCIAL STUDIES
I wondered where those black students came from, because I know they did not come from those million dollar houses in the north part of the school district.
JOE HUGHES, SOCIAL STUDIES.
Do you think they will hire any more black teachers?
JEFFERSON JONES, SOCIAL STUDIES
Only if they are pressured to do so. I picked the school because it was where I wanted to raise my kids away from New York City. Most black teachers know the reputation of this school district, and do not even apply here.
ANN KOSIAR, MATH.
I know they hired more black women teachers on the Elementary school level since they had no black woman teachers previously.
JEFFERSON JONES, SOCIAL STUDIES
The NAACP met with Mr. Chisamore this summer I understand, and expressed their concern that his school lacked any teachers of color. He did not take their criticism well, I heard. At least they put him on notice.
JOE HUGHES, SOCIAL STUDIES.
The one they need to put on notice is the Superintendent, and the President of the Board of Education, not just the Principals.
JEFFERSON JONES, SOCIAL STUDIES
I agree, but it is going to be a long tough road. I have gotten two bad evaluations Ray Chisamore already.
JOE HUGHES, SOCIAL STUDIES.
You and me both. I doubt if he will rehire me next year. I am on his crap list.
FADE OUT.
SCENE 3- INT. DAY- PRINCIPAL RAY CHISAMORE’S OFFICE.
FADE IN:
JEFFERSON JONES , SOCIAL STUDIES.
Mr. Chisamore, I have come to you today with a list of demands by the black students of Kakiat Junior High School. They feel that the cafeteria should begin to offer soul food for black students. In addition, they demand the right to learn Swaheli as a language choice, rather than being forced to take French or Spanish.
RAY CHISAMORE, PRINCIPAL
You Demand a change in food, and curriculum. What give you the right to demand anything Mr. Jones?
JEFFERSON JONES, SOCIAL STUDIES
The black students have rights, just as the white students do, and we mean to exercise those rights. Forcing black students to eat white people food is a violation of their civil rights.
RAY CHISAMORE, PRINCIPAL.
Really, I don’t see it that way. What the hell is soul food anyway?
JEFFERSON JONES, SOCIAL STUDIES
Soul food is chitlins,fried chicken,beans, and rice, fried okra and other foods from the south.
RAY CHISAMORE, PRINCIPAL
Who is going to pay for this change in food offering in the cafeteria?
JEFFERSON JONES, SOCIAL STUDIES
I do not know who is going to pay for the change in food choices for black students, but if we do not get what we want we will walk and in addition we will contact the NAACP and the ACLU to join us as well as the local media.”
RAY CHISAMORE, PRINCIPAL
Are you attempting to blackmail me Mr. Jones.
JEFFERSON JONES
No sir, I am simply stating a fact that the black students in this school are tired of being ignored and having their civil rights dismissed.
RAY CHISAMORE, PRINCIPAL
I cannot authorize a change in the menu for the cafeteria, nor can I insert Swaheli as a Foreign language choice. The power to do this comes from the Superintendent of Schools, and the Board of Education.
JEFFERSON JONES, SOCIAL STUDIES
Well, then I suggest you contact the Superintendent of Schools, and the Board of Education, because we are not the only school in this district that is making these demands. All of the secondary level schools will walk out unless they get their demands met. Do you really want this in the newspapers that your school refuses to support the black students in this school?
RAY CHISAMORE, PRINCIPAL
I think our discussion is ended now. You can go.
JEFFERSON JONES, SOCIAL STUDIES
You have one week to take action or the black students in this school are going to walk out, and the local media is going to have a field day making this school, and others in this district look racist. Good bye.
FADE OUT.
SCENE 4- INT. DAY – SUPERINTENDENT’S OFFICE
RAY CHISAMORE, PRINCIPAL.
(On the telephone)-Hello Mr. Woodruff, This is Ray Chisamore calling.
NED WOODRUFF-SUPT. OF SCHOOLS-
Yes, how are you doing today Ray?
RAY CHISAMORE, PRINCIPAL
Not good Sam. I just had a black militant teacher in my office making demands on behalf of the black students at Kakiat Junior High School.
NED WOODRUFF, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS
Oh, What were these demands? Ray?
RAY CHISAMORE, PRINCIPAL
He demands that the district provide Soul food for the black students to eat in the cafeteria, and he wants Swahili provided as a foreign language choice for black students to learn their native African language.
NED WOODRUFF, SUPT.
Well, that is just plain ridiculous. Who do the black students think they are, special?
RAY CHISAMORE, PRINCIPAL
I am afraid so, and they threaten to walk out of school next week, and protest. In addition they promise to contact the NAACP, and the ACLU, and the local media. This could have a real negative impact on the school district image, and might help defeat the school budget vote when it comes up.
NED WOODRUFF, SUPT.
I think they are bluffing.
RAY CHISAMORE, PRINCIPAL
I have been told this will be a district wide walk out sir, and I don’t think we can afford the bad publicity.
NED WOODRUFF, SUPT.
Let me get back to you on this Ned. Hang tight for now. Good Bye.
FADE OUT.
SCENE 5- INT. DAY – KAKIAT JUNIOR HIGH HALL-WAYS. THE BLACK STUDENT WALKOUT.
Narrator: One week later the black students at all of the schools on the secondary level in the East Ramapo Central school district prepare to walk out just before lunch time.
FADE IN:
JEFFERSON JONES, BLACK SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER
Remember we walk out at 10:00 am sharp. Just stand up, and take your books, and walk out the front door. We will have the NAACP here and the ACLU in addition to the local Newspapers, and CBS Television is sending a roving reporter to film out walk-out. Remember Black Power!
MALCOMB STOORS(14), JAMIL GREEN(13), AND SHAMILE ROGERS(!4) (ALL BLACK STUDENTS)
OK, Mr. Jefferson we are behind you 100%, and we will walk out for sure at 10:00 today.
JEFFERSON JONES, SOCIAL STUDIES
OK then, play it cool until then. If any white students or teachers asks you any questions about the walk out, pay them no attention.
Narrator: Sometime toward the End of period 1, at 10:00 all the black students in the schools of the East Ramapo Central school district, walk out of their classes, and stand outside, picketing with signs demanding Soul Food, and Swahili as a foreign language for black students.
FADE TO BLACK.
FADE IN:
MALCOMB STOORS(14),STUDENT
Come gang it is time, let’s walk.
RICK KNAPP, SCIENCE
Where are you going Malcomb?
MALCOMB STOORS, STUDENT
We are protesting the policies of this school in ignoring the black students.
RICK KNAPP, SCIENCE
If you walk out there is going to be a lot of trouble Malcomb.
Narrator: All of the black student and Mr. Jefferson Jones assemble outside the school when several cars pull up and a remote TV truck from CBS.
JEFFERSON JONES, SOCIAL STUDIES
Here come the officials from the NAACP, and the ACLU. I think that is the CBS remote truck also. Welcome gentlemen, My name is Jefferson Jones, and I am a Social Studies teacher here at Kakiat Junior High School. We are happy to see you here supporting our demands for black students today.
RAYMOND ELDERS, NAACP OFFICIAL FOR THE EAST RAMAPO CENTRAL AREA OF NEW YORK STATE.
Good morning Mr. Jones. It is nice to meet you. Where is the Principal of the school?
JEFFERSON JONES, BLACK SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER
I am sure he will be coming out soon.
MRS. JUDY WOODS-(LAWYER FOR THE ACLU)-
Good Morning Gentlemen. I see everyone is here except the school officials.
JEFFERSON JONES, BLACK SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER
Yes, I imagine they are meeting before coming out to meet the TV camera.
MR. RAYMOND ELDERS-NAACP
I understand that you requested the school offer Soul food for the black students, and that was denied. You also asked the Swahili be offered for black students beginning next semester?
JEFFERSON JONES, SOCIAL STUDIES
Yes sir, I met with Principal Chisamore, and he rejected our demands.
MR. ELDERS-NAACP-
We have representatives at all of the secondary schools in East Ramapo Central school district today to meet with the Principals and follow through on these demands.
MRS. JUDY WOODS,
Likewise the ACLU has representatives at all of the schools to support the black students civil liberties.
FADE TO BLACK.
FADE IN:
NARRATOR:
Just then Principal Woorley and Assistant Principal HERMAN KASPAR came walking out to meet the visitors, and talk with the black students who walked out of school.
RAY CHISAMORE, PRINCIPAL
Gentlemen and ladies, I just got off the phone with the Superintendent of Schools, Sam Woodruff, and he has conceded that the matter can be settled peacefully. He had requested the Director of the district lunch programs to offer Soul food twice a week along with the regular foods to any student white or black that wants to purchase Soul Food. Regarding the offering of Swahili in the foreign language department, we will need time to hire new teachers to teach Swahili by next semester. A minimum of ten students a period must enroll for the Swahili language course for five periods a day to allow this language to be offered. Does this satisfy your demands?
MR. ELDERS, (60) NAACP ADMINISTRATOR.
Sounds good to us. Too bad you could not have settled this before it became a public issue.
MR. GEORGE STEIN TV FIELD REPORTER FOR CBS(40)
Mr. Chisamore, can I get a comment from you regarding this black student demonstration, Sir?
RAY CHISAMORE, PRINCIPAL
All I can say is the Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Sam Woodruff has compromised, and offered Soul food for black students during the lunch periods, and Swahili will be offered as a language for black or white students next semester. That is all I can say for now.
JEFFERSON JONES, SOCIAL STUDIES
OK, students (talking to the black students picketing with signs in front of the school). It is time to go in now. Thank you for you support of black rights. Go to your next class. Black Power!
FADE OUT.
ACT FOUR- A NEW PRINCIPAL TAKES OVER IN 1970.
SCENE 1- INT. DAY – KAKIAT JUNIOR HIGH MAIN OFFICE
Narrator: The racial problems at Kakiat Junior high forced the Superintendent to blame all the problems on Principal Ray Chisamore and his advanced age and forced him to retire at the end of the 1969-70 school year.
FADE IN:
JOHN CALDONE, PA ANNOUNCER AND SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER
Goooood Mornnnning Kakiat Junior High School. Let’s all give a big hand to our new Principal Mr. Bob Shaw from New Jersey. Mr. Chisamore as you may or may not know, retired this past spring, after 40 years of dedication, and service to the East Ramapo Central school district. Let me introduce Mr. Bob Shaw to you now.
BOB SHAW (45) PRINCIPAL
Good morning Students and Staff. I am happy to be here today serving as your new Principal. I hope we have a great and prosperous school year. Thank you.
JOHN CALDONE, PA ANNOUNCER
That about wraps it up today gang. Remember “Don’t be Square out there.”
FADE OUT.
SCENE 2-INT. DAY- THE KAKIAT JUNIOR HIGH GYMNASIUM
Narrator: Principal Bob Shaw Feeling he is not being well accepted by the students and the staff at Kakiat Junior High School decides it might be good to do a Judo demonstration to earn the respect of the students since he is a black belt Karate, and Judo champion.
FADE IN:
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL
(On the PA system early in the beginning of the day). Attention faculty and students. There will be a Judo and Karate demonstration this morning in the gym at the beginning of period 2 at 10:05 am. When the bell rings the second period teachers should lead their students down to the gym to sit down on the bleachers. I will be performing this morning with some student volunteers.
PELHAM MEAD, PE TEACHER
Judo demonstration is he kidding?
BOB DILLEY, PE TEACHER
Yeah, and we don’t even teach Judo in our Physical Education classes?
JERRY LEVITUS, PE DEPARTMENT CHAIRPERSON
This demonstration, second period is news to me. Mr. Shaw never told me about it.
NAOMI NEWMAN, PE TEACHER
Sam what is with the Judo demonstration by Principal Shaw? Is he nuts or what?
FADE TO BLACK.
Narrator: The Second Period Bell rings, and all teachers and students head to the gymnasium to watch the Judo and Karate demonstration by Principal Shaw.
FADE IN:
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL
(Talking on a portable PA system) Welcome students and teachers to our Self-defense seminar. As you may or may not know I am a Black belt Karate expert. I am going to show you this morning how to defend yourself and thwart off attackers.
First Can I have a volunteer student?”
(Many students raise their hands eager to show up the principal.)
Bob Shaw, Principal
(Pointing to a boy names Brad Swan sitting in the bleachers) You, do you want to come down. What is your name son?
BRADLEY SWAN (14) BLACK STUDENT
Brad Swan sir.
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL
Aren’t you on the varsity football team Brad?
BRADLEY SWAN, STUDENT
Yes, sir I am the Quarterback for the Kakiat team.
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL
OK, I am not going to hurt you Brad so relax. Lets pretend you are going to attack me from behind. Go ahead and try to grab me around the neck.
BRADLEY SWAN, STUDENT
(Grabs Mr. Shaw around the neck from behind) There.
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL
(Turning and grabbing Brad by the arm he quickly flips him to the floor. Are you OK Brad? Thank you. Let’s give Brad a big hand everybody.
RICK KNAPP, SCIENCE AND ASSISTANT FOOTBALL COACH.
Oh my God there goes our first string Quarterback! I hope he doesn’t get injured or we are in big trouble.
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL
These are known as nunchucks and can be used in defense or in attacking an opponent.(He takes a pair of nunchucks and begins swinging them around this arms and head and then accidentally hits himself in the crotch. Ouch.
Narrator: The Students all Laugh.
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL
(Showing pain on his face) Lets show you how to defend yourself if an attacker comes from the side or back. Can I have another volunteer?
MALCOMB WASHINGTON (14) STUDENT
I’ll volunteer. (Raising his hand).
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL
Ok the student up in the bleachers come on down. Now I want you to try and grab my from the side.
MALCOMB WASHINGTON, STUDENT
(Runs from the side and as he approaches Bob Shaw, he grabs his fingers and flips him to the ground in a finger hold.
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL
That is how it is done with a finger grip, twisting his fingers causing him to fall to the ground.
Narrator: The demonstration goes on for another 15 minutes and then the students are dismissed to go back to their classes.
JERRY LEVITUS, PE CHAIRMAN
Well I guess that demonstration was intended to make the faculty and students feel better about the new principal?
BOB DILLEY, PE TEACHER
It didn’t impress me.
NAOMI NEWMAN, PE TEACHER
Another wasted gym period.
FADE OUT.
ACT FIVE- TEACHING SCENES IN THE ROARING ‘70’S
SCENE 1- INT. DAY- THE KAKIAT MAIN OFFICE
FADE IN:
Narrator: John Caldone does the morning announcements like Robin Williams in the movie, “Good Morning Vietnam.” He exaggerates the Good Morning, dragging out the words for emphasis.
JOHN CALDONE, PA ANNOUNCER AND SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER
Goooood Mornnning Kakiat Junior High School. It is 9:25 and here are the morning announcements. The Kakiat Junior high Tigers Football team squashed The Panthers from Pomona Junior High School yesterday with a score of 32-7. Let’s give a big hand for Danny Mathers who scored two running touchdowns!
On another note: Students are reminded that mid-term exams are coming in a weeks. Please check the assigned test room schedule on the Guidance bulletin board.
This years Faculty Basketball team will feature Rick the Runner who never graduated from Syracuse, Don “The Tree Lee,”Mel “The Mauler” Schwartz,
Pel Mead “the bomber Mead,
Sam “the stomper” Steinfeld, and
Joe “the Jumper: Joe Hughes.
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.
That’s all for today. This is your announcer Johnny C. Signing off. Remember Don’t Be Square.
FADE OUT.
SCENE 2- INT. DAY – JOHN CALDONE’S SOCIAL STUDIES CLASS STUDYING EARLY CAUSES OF AIDS.
FADE IN:
JOHN CALDONE, SOCIAL STUDIES
So students that concludes the reading about Green monkeys in Africa, and how in some way Scientists believe they are related to the spread of AIDs in Africa. So what do you think this tells us about green monkeys, and AIDS in Africa? Does anyone know or have an idea? OK, Alice do you know the answer?
ALICE LUNA (13) STUDENT
Green monkeys aren’t really green?
JOHN CALDONE, SOCIAL STUDIES
William how about you?
WILLIAM WENT (13) STUDENT
I don’t know Mr. C.
MALCOMB WASHINGTON(13) STUDENT
(At the back of the classroom, quickly raising his hand) Mr. C., I know, I know, I have the answer.
JOHNNY CARUCCI, SOCIAL STUDIES
Great Malcomb, tell us what you think the correct answer is?
MALCOMB WASHINGTON, STUDENT
The answer is, them natives in Africa were piping them monkeys.
JOHNNY CARUCCI, SOCIAL STUDIES
(When he realized what Malcolm said he began to laugh, then the whole class laughed, and the laughing continued for a minute) Laughter lasting for 20 sec.)
Well that is a great observation Malcolm.
Narrator: Just then the bell rings, and everyone jumps up, and leaves the classroom.
FADE TO BLACK.
SCENE 3- INT. DAY – RICK KNAPP’S SCIENCE CLASSROOM.
FADE IN:
HERMAN KASPAR, ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL.
(Standing in the hallway talking to Rick Knapp) I need to tell you Rick that this new kid Richard Flynn 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.
RICK KNAPP, SCIENCE
Thanks Mr. Kaspar, I will keep an eye out for Richard when he comes into my class this period.
FADE OUT.
Narrator: Mr. Knapp returns to his desk in his classroom as the late bell rings. He begins to take attendance in his class book.
FADE IN:
RICK KNAPP, SCIENCE
Welcome to Science 7, and my name is Mr. Knapp. 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 wall. Thanks.
Now when 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, and send a cut slip to the front office. Are there any questions about that?
Narrator: Suddenly, a student bursts into the room, huffing and puffing from running.
RICHARD FLYNN(12) STUDENT
Is this Mr. Runner’s science class?
RICK KNAPP, SCIENCE
Yes it is and you are late. What is your name son?
RICHARD FLYNN, STUDENT
My name is Richard. Richard Flynn.
RICK KNAPP, SCIENCE
OK, Richard we are assigning seats for attendance, and you will sit behind Gail in row four. Please take your seat.
RICHARD FLYNN, STUDENT
Hey guy have you got some gum?”
RICK KNAPP, SCIENCE
Richard, you need to stop talking, and just sit there until we have the attendance seating completed.
RICHARD FLYNN, STUDENT
(Gives Mr. Knapp an ugly face)
RICHARD FLYNN, STUDENT
(Learning forward he taps Gail behind the head.) Hey, Gail what’s up?
GAIL GOLDBERG (12) STUDENT
Stop that please.
RICHARD FLYNN, STUDENT
(Laughs out loud)
RICK KNAPP, SCIENCE
Richard, this is the second time I have had to speak to you. Quiet down.
RICHARD FLYNN, STUDENT
(Richard Gives Mr. Knapp the middle finger, and says) Fuck you.
RICK KNAPP, SCIENCE
Richard step outside into the hallway please.
RICHARD FLYNN, STUDENT
No, you cannot make me.
RICK KNAPP, SCIENCE
Really? (Mr. Knapp grabs Richard by the arm and starts to drag him toward the door).
RICHARD FLYNN-STUDENT
(Richard pulls away)
RICK KNAPP, SCIENCE
(Losing his patience, Mr. Knapp grabs Richard by the armpits, and lifts him up, and slams him against the wall where the light switches were.
Narrator: 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.
RICK KNAPP, SCIENCE
(Taking the intercom off the wall Mr. Knapp calls the office to send a security guard to take Richard to the Guidance Office for the remainder of the class period)
RICK KNAPP, SCIENCE
Hello Main office, I have a disruptive student. Could you please send someone down to pick him up, and take him out of this class. Thank you.
DAN HEALEY(70) SECURITY GUARD
OK, Richard let’s take a walk to the Assistant Principal’s office.
RICHARD FLYNN, STUDENT
Don’t touch me old man.
DAN HEALEY, SECURITY GUARD
No one is touching you, so come along quietly now.
(The school bell rings)
FADE OUT.
SCENE 4- INT. DAY- MR. MEAD’S HEALTH EDUCATION CLASS.
FADE IN:
PELHAM MEAD, HEALTH EDUCATION
Welcome students, we are finished with the Nutrition unit and are beginning part of the Sex Education Unit. I have some laser CDs that explain everything very clearly, but in the meantime, take our your pens and notebooks for some notes.
PELHAM MEAD, HEALTH EDUCATION
(Standing by the blackboard with chalk in hand) So, students when we use the work Contraception, we mean preventing birth during sexual intercourse.(A Few giggles can be heard from some students). I know a lot of you think Saran Wrap works well to prevent fertilization, but you are wrong. Spermicide, which is a jelly like substance, can kill about 90% of the sperm cells during intercourse.
GARY MILLER(13) STUDENT
Mr. Mead, what happens to the 10% that the spermicide doesn’t kill?
PELHAM MEAD, HEALTH EDUCATION
That is a good question Gary. Well, the ten percent that is not killed can fertilize the eggs, and therefore, cause a pregnancy and a possible baby.
PELHAM MEAD, HEALTH EDUCATION
(Noticing that the class is not paying attention Mr. Mead attempts to put a little humor into the lesson) Well some sperms have little shields like Knights of the middle ages had, (he begins drawing a few sperms on the blackboard with shields in front of them) No one seems to notice or realize that sperms do not have shields. The shields protect the sperms from spermicide. Are there any questions about that? You will be getting a quiz on Friday on Sex Education and what you have learned so far. Make sure you review the notes from class, and read Chapter 5 in the textbook.
A week later in the same Health Class.
PELHAM MEAD, HEALTH EDUCATION
Today we have a quiz on a portion of the Sex Education Unit. Take out a pen and paper, and put your name on the top and period 4 on the top of the paper. I will read the question and you provide the correct letter answer. You need only put down the letter. Do not write out the question or complete answer.
Question number 1-What percentage of sperms does a condom and a spermicide kill? (A) 10% (B) 50% (C) 60% (D) 90%
You have one minute to answer.
Question number 2-What birth control method of the follow four does not work.
A)Birth control pills (B)Saran Wrap (C)Condom (D)spermicide
Question number 3-What is a spermicide? (A) Eye aide (B) kills eggs (C) Kills sperms (D) all of the above.
Question number 4-How long does a human pregnancy take to deliver a baby under normal conditions? How many months? (A) 9 months (B) 11 months (C) 5 months (D) 6 months.
Question number 5- What do sperms have that female eggs doe not have?
(A) Shields (B)tails (C)arms (D) ears
That’s it. Please hand in your quizzes.
FADE OUT.
Narrator: That night at Mr. Mead’s apartment he begins to sit down and grade the quizzes. His wife Jeri is sitting near by watching TV.
FADE IN:
PELHAM MEAD, HEALTH EDUCATION
I will do all the number 1 questions first to see how many did well on that question, and then I will grade the second question only and then the third, and then the fourth and finally the fifth question. That way I will have an analysis of each question in terms of right answers vs wrong answers.
PELHAM MEAD, HEALTH EDUCATION
Questions 1,2,3, and 4 turned out good, but what’s on question 5? I was only kidding with sperms having shields and they believed me. Sperms have shields, oh no they thought I was telling the truth. Wow, nearly half the class got the question wrong, Sperms don’t have shields, I was joking. I will have to throw that question out I guess? I can’t believe they actually though a sperm could hold a shield as if it had arms or something, (laughing).
FADE OUT.
SCENE 5- EXT. DAY- THE ARCHERY UNIT IN PHYSICAL EDUCATION
Narrator: Behind the gym building was the Archery range with the targets leaning against the hill on tripods, and 10 bows lying on the ground. A yellow cord is stretched out for the students to stand behind when shooting.
It was a crisp fall day in early October, and the Physical Education Staff had decided to offer Archery in the fall instead of the spring to allow Girls to enjoy sports that they would select instead of all Field Hockey. Boys and girls classes were still separated in 1967. The Targets were lined up on the hillside next to the gymnasium, and the starting line was 15 yards from the targets. PE Teachers Bob Dilley, and Pelham Mead are team teaching the boys PE class. Bob Dilley is a 6ft in. Tall blond PE teacher with a clean shaven face and short hair. Pelham Mead is 6 ft. Tall and a crew cut style hair cut and clean shaven.
FADE IN:
PELHAM MEAD, PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHER
(Talking to his class of 30 students outdoors). Here are the safety rules for Archery. When I tell you to knock arrows you place the arrow on your bow against the notch and wait for the next command. Remember you must wear an arm guard to protect against the string from injuring your arm, and a finger guard to protect the ends of your fingers.
After you KNOCK arrows, I will say aim, and you will lift up your bow and sight off the tip of the arrow with the center of the target. This is only 15 yards, so it should be sighted dead on. When I give the third signal COMMENCE shooting you can shoot your five arrows, one at a time. When you are down, put your bow down, and step back from the yellow cord and wait for the next command. Coach Mead will blow the whistle when all the arrows are shot or if there is an emergency reason for stopping. You always stop what you are doing if you hear the whistle. Do not continue to shoot. Loosen your bowstring and listen for the COMMAND- retrieve arrows. Than, and only than will you be allowed to get your arrows. Count the circles; Bull’s-eye is 9 points, 7 for blue and so on out to white that is one point only.
So let’s begin. Line up at each bow line, and the first person step up and pick up the bow. READY, everyone else step back, and sit down while you wait your turn.
Students KNOCK ARROWS,
Pause…. Commence Shooting
Narrator: (After all the students are done shooting Coach Mead blows his whistle.)
PELHAM MEAD, PHYSICAL EDUCATION
All right, retrieve arrows. Put your bows down, Next group step up. Hold it wait. There is a squirrel running across the target range. Oops to late. Run little squirrel.
Laughing, that was one lucky squirrel. CEASE FIRE and put your bows down.(The class also laughs at the lucky squirrel).
FADE OUT.
SCENE 6- INT. DAY – PELHAM MEAD’S HOMEROOM IN ROOM 140.
Narrator: One month later. A young girl is standing in the doorway of Mr. Mead’s homeroom just before school begins.
FADE IN:
ADRIENNE TOPPER(12) WHITE FEMALE STUDENT
Jamal said he wanted to meet me after school today.
SUSAN DELUCA(12) WHITE FEMALE STUDENT
Really that is surprising.
ADRIENNE TOPPER, WHITE FEMALE STUDENT
Do you think he likes me?
SUSAN DELUCA(12) WHITE FEMALE STUDENT
I really don’t know. What about your old boyfriend Malcomb?
ADRIENNE TOPPER, WHITE FEMALE STUDENT
We’re done. I caught him cheating on me with Syrenna.
Narrator: Suddenly a boy comes running down the hallway. It is Malcomb, Adrienne’s ex-boyfriend. He Stops at the doorway.
MALCOMB WASHINGTON(13) BLACK MALE STUDENT
What’s up bitch. You dropping me just like that?
ADRIENNE TOPPER, WHITE FEMALE STUDENT
Leave me alone Malcomb. You and I are finished.
Narrator: Suddenly, without warning Malcom punches Adrienne in the jaw with tremendous force. Adrienne falls to the floor and Susan screams.
SUSAN DELUCA, WHITE FEMALE STUDENT
Help, Mr Mead, Help.
MALCOMB WASHINGTON, BLACK MALE STUDENT
See bitch that’s what you get.
PELHAM MEAD, HEALTH AND PE TEACHER
Get out of the way Please.(Talking to Malcom) (He stoops down to check her vital signs) Are you OK? Hello Adrienne can you hear me. She seems to be unconscious. Susan go get the Nurse right away and tell her it is an emergency.
MALCOMB WASHINGTON, BLACK MALE STUDENT
She had it coming to her, Dude.
Minutes later the Nurse and Susan come running down the hallway to Mr. Mead’s homeroom.
RHONDA MAYBERRY(40) SCHOOL NURSE
What happened Mr. Mead?
PELHAM MEAD, HEALTH AND PE TEACHER
Malcomb punched Adrienne in the jaw for no apparent reason, and she went unconscious, and fell to the floor.
RHONDA MAYBERRY, SCHOOL NURSE
Did you call for an ambulance Mr. Mead? I have a slight pulse, but she is still unaware of where she is.
PELHAM MEAD, HEALTH AND PE TEACHER
I’ll call the main office on the intercom right away. (Getting up from the floor, Mr. Mead goes over to the intercom on the wall and calls the main office. Hello, main office. We have an emergency injury in room 104. Nurse Mayberry wants you to call an ambulance immediately.
SECRETARY (35) MAIN OFFICE
I will call the ambulance right away Mr. Mead. Room 104, right?
PELHAM MEAD, HEALTH AND PE TEACHER
That is correct, hurray. (Turning to Malcomb who was standing in the hallway)Now Malcomb you are going to tell the Principal why you injured this girl for no reason.)
Narrator: (Speaking angrily)(Mr. Mead 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, about 50 yards away from room 104. He drags the student all the way holding the shirt collar, until he arrives at the principals office out of breath)(It is then he realizes that Malcomb’s feet aren’t touching the ground and in his anger Mr. Mead held Malcomb off the ground all the way to the principal’s office.
PELHAM MEAD, HEALTH AND PE TEACHER
Mr. Chisamore, This student took it upon himself to punch a girl in the jaw for no apparent reason. She fell to the floor unconscious. The nurse is sending the girl named Adrienne Topper to the local hospital to evaluate her condition.
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL
Well Malcomb, what do you have to say for yourself?
MALCOMB WASHINGTON, BLACK MALE STUDENT
She disrespected me, the bitch.
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL
Excuse me we don’t use that kind of language here.
MALCOMB WASHINGTON, BLACK MALE STUDENT
(Pouting)
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL
(Speaking to Helen Marino the Principal’s Secretary) Helen Marino 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.
MRS. DORIS GREY(45) SECRETARY
Yes sir, I will call Mrs. Williams right now.
MRS. DORIS GREY, SECRETARY
Hello, Mrs. Williams? This is Helen Marino, Principal Chisamore’s secretary at Kakiat Junior High School. You son Malcomb has been in an altercation with a girl, and he punched her causing her to become unconscious. Mr. Chisamore 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. Chisamore will give you the details when you get to school. Thanks you. Good bye.
MRS. JULIA WASHINGTON (40) MOTHER
Yes, I will be right there. Thank you.
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL
Malcomb I want you to sit in my office until your mother arrives.
Thank you Mr. Mead. You may return to your first period class. I have a teacher covering your first class in the gym until you return.
PELHAM MEAD, HEALTH AND PE TEACHER
Thank you Mr. Shaw.
Narrator: Mrs. Washington arrived 30 minutes later and took her son Malcomb home for a one week suspension from school. Adrienne recovered in the hospital with bruising on her chin and a slight concussion after an overnight stay.
FADE OUT.
ACT FIVE- THE KAKIAT JUNIOR HIGH FIRE
SCENE 1- INT. DAY – THE KAKIAT JUNIOR HIGH MAIN OFFICE, MORNING ANNOUNCEMENTS.
FADE IN:
JOHN CALDONE, PA ANNOUNCER AND SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHER
(John always does the PA announcements like Robin Williams in the movie, “Good Morning Vietnam.”)
Gooood Mornnnning Kakiat Junior high school.
Here are the announcements for the day. The Soccer team won against Mamaroneck JHS yesterday 3-0. Way to go Soccer champions.
Here is a reminder from Coach Mead, Gymnastic Practice is in the mornings, not the afternoons anymore at 8:00 am to 9:00 am. New members are welcome.
The Cross-country Boys Track team scored another victory yesterday at North Junior High, First place winner for the race was seventh grader Perry Genovese, Second place was Kakiat fleet of foot Al Donaldson, also a seventh grader. Congratulations to our Cross Country athletes.
That’s all folks, Remember, Don’t be Square out there.
FADE OUT.
SCENE 2- INT. DAY- SECOND FLOOR OF KAKIAT JUNIOR HIGH, MRS. DIPPOLITO’S ROOM 204
Narrator: It was a busy morning at Kakiat 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. BARBARA DIPPOLITO’S ENGLISH CLASSROOM 204. Mrs. Barbara Dippolito was on a break in the Teacher Lounge at the time, 10:30 am. A student coming out of Nurse’s office next to room 204 noticed that there was smoke coming out from under the room 204 door. She ran back into to tell the Nurse who came out, and saw the smoke.
NURSE SUSAN MAYBERRY (45)
Hello, main office. We have a fire on the second floor. Smoke is coming out of room 204, MRS. Dippolito’s classroom. The door is locked, and I do not know where she is. Hurray call the Fire Department
HELEN MARINO, SECRETARY
Calm down MRS. MAYBERRY. I will send Herman Kaspar, the assistant Principal, up there right away to confirm that there is a fire.
NURSE MAYBERRY
Hurray, I am telling you smoke is pouring out under the door of room 204, and it is not my imagination.
HELEN MARINO, SECRETARY
Alright Mr. Kaspar is on the way up to the second floor. He just left.
HERMAN KASPAR, ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL
(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 phone?
NURSE MAYBERRY
Right over there Mr. Kaspar. (Gesturing to a phone sitting on the nurse’s desk)
HERMAN KASPAR, ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL.
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 Herman Kaspar from Kakiat 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, and I do not have the master key. Hurray. The emergency code is ALPHA 360. Send fire trucks right away. (Running back down the stairs, Herman enters the main office) Helen Marino, I am going to pull the main fire alarm. Cover you ears. Meanwhile, tell Mr. Shaw that we have a fire, and we are evacuating the building.
Narrator: The Main FIRE ALARM goes off ringing in all the halls and classrooms in the building. Herman Kaspar gets on the PA and announces.
HERMAN KASPAR, ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL.
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. Bob we have a fire on the second floor, and it is for real. I confirmed it in MRS. Dippolito’s classroom in room 204. We need to evacuate immediately.
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL
OK, lock all the doors in the office, and the vault, and let’s get out of here. Hurray I can smell the smoke already.
Narrator: 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.
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL
Here come the fire trucks, thank God. Herman, go and tell them where the fire is located.
HERMAN KASPAR, ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL.
(Waving his hands to attract the attention of the Fire Chief in his red truck) Hello Chief, 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 Herman Kaspar) OK, if we enter through the front door our hoses might not 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 building.
ADRIENNE WASSERMAN, ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL
What the hell is going on? It this a drill or a real fire.
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL
I am afraid it is a real fire on the second floor in room 204. Herman confirmed that smoke was pouring out under the door in room 201, and the door is hot and locked. He could not get into the room. I don’t know where Mrs. Dippolito is? It is her room that the fire has started in. The NURSE’S office is right next to that room, and we could lose all the medical supplies and cots? Damm what a mess.
JOHN CALDONE, SOCIAL STUDIES
(Talking to Herman Kaspar) What is going on? Is this a real fire? I just got my class out of the building. The smoke was so thick we could not see the stairs.
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL
We seem to have a real fire on the second floor. Herman went up there to confirm the smoke pouring out from under the door of room 204.
JOHN CALDONE, SOCIAL STUDIES
Room 204, that is Barbara Dippolito’s classroom. Is she alright?
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL
We don’t know where she is. Her room is locked. She must be on a break?
JOHN CALDONE, SOCIAL STUDIES
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 break.
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL
We have no way of confirming that now. Maybe when Herman takes the golf cart around the building, he may see her lined up on the back side of the school?
JOHN CALDONE, SOCIAL STUDIES
Gee, I hope so. She is a good friend of mine. Her classroom is right across the hall from mine.
Narrator: Meanwhile, back in the building the classes are all filing out of the sides and back of the school building. Pelham Mead 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 Mr. Mead 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 ran over to her.
PELHAM MEAD, HEALTH AND PE TEACHER
Hi, I am Coach Mead, 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 here.
PELHAM MEAD, HEALTH AND PE TEACHER
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).
PELHAM MEAD, HEALTH AND PE TEACHER
(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 Coach Mead.
PELHAM MEAD, HEALTH AND PE TEACHER
(Seeing the Math Department. Chairperson, Paul Lewis, directing students away from the building, he yells to him). Paul give me a hand with this girl. My arms are killing me.(Cough)
PAUL LEWIS (55) MATH DEPARTMENT CHAIRMAN
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.
PELHAM MEAD, HEALTH AND PE TEACHER
Her name is Nina, Paul.
Narrator: Paul is a short Jewish man with greying hair, and a bald spot at the back of his head. He clean shaven face, a large nose and thick eyebrows with horn-rim glasses.
PELHAM MEAD, HEALTH AND PE TEACHER
(Asking Paul Lewis, Math)
What happened?
PAUL LEWIS, MATH DEPARTMENT CHAIRMAN
I don’t know, but I think a fire started in Mrs. Angelo’s classroom on the second floor?
FADE TO BLACK.
SCENE 3- INT. DAY- FLASHBACK TO A MONTH BEFORE IN SEPTEMBER 1975
Narrator: While Pelham Mead is standing out on the Soccer field watching the school go up in smoke, he has a flash back to a month before.
FADE IN:
PELHAM MEAD, PE TEACHER
(Flash back to September a month before the fire.) (Looking in Mrs. Dippolito’s classroom) Hi Barbara, I mean Mrs. Dippolito, how are you doing?
BARBARA DIPPOLITO(35) ENGLISH TEACHER
I am doing great, how are you?
PELHAM MEAD, PE TEACHER
My, you are creative. What are the clotheslines and the papers hanging from them for?
BARBARA DIPPOLITO, ENGLISH TEACHER
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.
PELHAM MEAD, PE TEACHER
That’s great. Do you mind if I stay a while and observe. Maybe I can pick up some ideas for my Health Ed. Class.
BARBARA DIPPOLITO, ENGLISH TEACHER
Sure makes yourself at home.
PAM BARR(13) STUDENT
Mrs. Dippolito can you help me with my outline?
BARBARA DIPPOLITO, ENGLISH TEACHER
Gotta help this student, sit down Mr. Mead, and relax.
PELHAM MEAD, PE TEACHER
Barbara you classroom is amazing. One thing however, what is with that mess of papers stuffed into the radiator compartment?
BARBARA DIPPOLITO, ENGLISH TEACHER
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 radiator.
PELHAM MEAD, PE TEACHER
Don’t you think that could cause a fire?
BARBARA DIPPOLITO, ENGLISH TEACHER
No, the radiator is turned off this early in the fall season. I will get to it soon.
PELHAM MEAD, PE TEACHER
I can get rid of it for you”
BARBARA DIPPOLITO, ENGLISH TEACHER
Don’t worry sweetie, I will get to it.
PELHAM MEAD, PE TEACHER
Well, I gotta run. I have a class to teach next period. Thanks for letting me observe your class. Amazing creativity, I am most impressed. I wish we had more teachers like you.
FADE OUT.
SCENE 4- EXT. DAY -THE KAKIAT JUNIOR HIGH SOCCER FIELD IN FRONT OF THE BUILDING.
FADE IN:
FIREMAN #1 (40)
(Lead fireman climbing up the Hook and Ladder to the second floor of the school) HAND ME THAT AXE.
FIREMAN#2 (30)
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 safety glass.
FIREMAN #1
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 directions.
FIREMAN#2
Hook the window frame and pull the whole thing out with your axe.
FIREMAN #1
(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 window.
FIREMAN#2
(Climbing up the ladder pulling the heavy hose) OK, here is the hose. Watch for sharp edges of the window as you step in.
FIREMAN #1
(Shouting) I’m in (cough) putting my respirator on too much smoke in here. Turn on the water.
FIREMAN#3 (48)
(Yelling) Water is turned on. Hold on tight.
FIREMAN#2
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 smoke)
FIREMAN #1
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?
FIREMAN#2
Yeah, we have plenty of hose line left. Is the classroom door open?
FIREMAN #1
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. Follow me.
FIREMAN#2
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?
FIREMAN #1
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?
FIREMAN#2
I am OK. My oxygen is on. I can’t see anything but smoke. Is the door open yet?
FIREMAN #1
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 now.
FIREMAN#2
(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.
FIREMAN #1
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.
Narrator: The second team makes it though the window and the water was turned on. They begin hosing down the other classrooms enveloped in flame. Several hours later the fires were all out, and only the smell of smoke remained, and the smell of burnt wood.
FIRE CHIEF BUTCH LONG (50’S)
(Later on around 1:00 pm) Where is the Principal? I need to talk with the Principal right away to inform him of the status of the building.
FIREMAN#1
I think he is out in front of the building Chief.
FIRE CHIEF BUTCH LONG
(Walking to the front of the school building) Where is Mr. Woorley?
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPLE
(Shouting to the Fire Chief) Over here Chief. So what is the situation?
FIRE CHIEF BUTCH LONG
(Speaking to Mr. Shaw) 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.
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL.
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 Kakiat Junior High students home?
HERMAN KASPAR, ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL.
OK, I am on it. I will be back in fifteen minutes.
FADE OUT.
SCENE 5-INT. DAY – KAKIAT JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER FIELD.
FADE IN:
PERRY GENOVESE
(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.
ALFRADO DONELSON
Yeah, my leather jacket is in the school locker also, and all I have is this thin short sleeve shirt.
SUZY SMITZ (13),STUDENT
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), STUDENT
Boy am I hungry. Just my luck to miss lunch and when are we getting back in the school?
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL
(Using a portable bull horn) Attention students and faculty. 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 responsible.
CUT TO:
PERRY GENOVESE, STUDENT
Damm, I can’t believe we have to go home with no coats.
ALFRADO DONELSON, STUDENT
I have thin blood, and I cannot take this cold without a coat.
CUT TO:
JOHN CALDONE, SOCIAL STUDIES
Well folks, it looks like I lucked out going out for lunch. I have my jacket on me. Has anyone seen Mrs. Dippolito yet?
BECKY MASON, MUSIC
I think someone said she was at the back of the building where the teacher lounge teachers went.
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL
Adrienne, can you take the golf cart and look around the back of the school to see if Mrs. Dippolito is OK. Thanks.
ADRIENNE WASSERMAN, ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL
I will check Mrs. Dippolito out right away. The golf cart is over by the janitors room, fortunately far away from the side of the building with the fire.
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL
(Ten Minutes later) Adrienne did you find Mrs. Dippolito?
ADRIENNE WASSERMAN
Yes, she is OK but a little shaken up that the fire started in her classroom.
HERMAN KASPAR, ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL
Bob, 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 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.
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL
A missing student. Oh, no. Now we find out. Chief Long, 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 t-shirt. 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?
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL
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.
HERMAN KASPAR, ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL
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.
Narrator: The fireman begin to search the building. A half hour goes by and still no word. The buses have begun to arrive, and the students are boarding them, and going home without their coats.
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL
Please GOD help them find this kid. I can’t take anymore stress I have to sit down for a little bit.
HERMAN KASPAR, ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL
Are you OK Bob? You don’t look well. I have a bottle of water do you want some?
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL
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. Shaw 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 good.
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL
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.
BOB SHAW
I can’t tell the Superintendent of Schools about this until I am absolutely positive as to what happened to this student.
ADRIENNE WASSERMAN, ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL.
Maybe he got out of the school and walked home. Junior high students are known to do stupid things like that sometimes.
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL
We need some answers and before it gets dark in a few hours. Chief Long, what do you recommend?
FIRE CHIEF BUTCH LONG
You can go home for now, 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?
BOB SHAW, PRINCIPAL
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.
Narrator: 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).
FADE TO:
SCENE 6- INT. NIGHT -IN A JANITORIAL CLOSET IN KAKIAT JUNIOR HIGH.
FADE IN:
NARRATOR: 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 closet.
BARRIE NEEDLES (13) STUDENT
Help. Help me someone. (Cough) (crying) Mommy, I am sorry.
FADE TO BLACK.
THE END.

By skyking119

Professor of Instructional Technology, Doctoral degree in Educational Administration from Columbia University-1993. Worked at NYU, St. Johns Univ., The College of Mount Saint Vincent, and the NY College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Currently, College Tutor and published Novel writer specializing in Historical Fiction. In the works, Sister Angelina CIA Nun, The Night is a Child (a mystery story of Africa), and The Personal Diary of Anne of Cleves, 4th wife of King Henry VIII.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s